Guardiola praises Iniesta's role with Barcelona
London: Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has praised his compatriot and former player Andres Iniesta, saying that Iniesta's role has been crucial to Barcelona's success over the past years.
Earlier on Friday, Iniesta announced his departure from Barcelona by the end of the season, after playing 22 years for the Spanish giant, reports Efe.
"I think he's a part of the history Barcelona have left in the last 15-20 years that would not have been possible without him," Guardiola, Barcelona's former coach, said at a press conference ahead of Sunday's West Ham United, English Premier League (EPL) clash.
Guardiola, who led Barça between 2008 and 2012, said "I need to thank him because he helped me to understand the game better - just watching him, what he does on the football pitch."
Iniesta began playing for Barcelona as a 12-year-old with Barça's youth team then he was raised to Barcelona's B team in 2001 and finally to the first team in 2002.