Andres Iniesta: ‘I want to play as often as possible for Barcelona’

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Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has insisted that he has not held talks with manager Ernesto Valverde over managing his playing time after signing a new contract.

The 33-year-old put pen to paper on a “lifetime” deal at Camp Nou last week, ending months of speculation over his future beyond the end of next summer.

Iniesta admits that he cannot feature from the off as regularly as he did in his peak days, but he intends to continue playing a pivotal role for the Catalan giants as he enters the latter stages of his playing career.

“I’ll always be of the opinion that the more you play, the better you will be in the sense that you reach an optimum point and feel good, confident and comfortable on the field,” he told Catalunya Radio.

“This year, I’ve had some setbacks and there have been tough times, but I continue to be positive about things. I talk to Valverde on a daily basis, but we haven’t discussed that kind of management [of my playing time].

“I don’t think that being 33 years old means I can’t play as many games. I’m aware that it isn’t the same as being 28, but the important thing is that I feel good.”

Iniesta started just 13 La Liga games last season in an injury-plagued year – the fewest he has managed since the 2004-05 campaign.

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