There’s blasphemy, and then there’s this.
Andres Iniesta, alongside Lionel Messi, is as close to a footballing demi-God as you’ll get after achieving everything there is to achieve in his career without seemingly breaking sweat.
The Barcelona captain has been the creative hub during Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique’s dominant Barcelona teams, whilst he also scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final.
And at 33, Iniesta remains just as integral as ever to the Catalans giants despite his ageing legs.
So imagine the stunned silence when reports emerged in Spain that Barca were hedging plans to sell their captain this summer.
According to Cadena SER, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu felt the time was right to move Iniesta on – only for new Barca manager Ernesto Valverde to stand in the way of the decision.
Oh, and here’s a clip of Iniesta ignoring Bartomeu after they won the Copa del Rey this season:
Iniesta has one year remaining on his current contract at the Camp Nou and Valverde made it very clear upon his appointment last week he wants his captain to at least see out that 12 months.
Barcelona fans are reluctant to lose another one of their crowd favourites, particularly after watching Dani Alves leave for Juventus last summer and subsequently help the Italians knock his former club out of the Champions League.
Alves himself heavily criticised Bartomeu’s leadership of Barcelona, stating earlier this season: “The people who run Barcelona have no idea how to treat their players.”
Seeing Iniesta in any other shirt would be extremely disturbing and unsettling.