Barcelona icon Andres Iniesta to have statue built in Albacete
Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta is to have a statue dedicated to him in his home province of Albacete in tribute to his stellar contribution to the Spanish region's reputation over the years.
Mayor Manuel Serrano announced the plan on Twitter, explaining that the sculpture would serve as a "deserved acknowledgement of Iniesta," who he said has "carried the name of Albacete with pride all over the world."
Iniesta spent over 20 years with Barca, winning countless trophies -- and he is the man who delivered Spain their first-ever World Cup with an extra time winner in the final in 2010.
According to AS, the statue is likely to be erected in Abelardo Sanchez park in Albacete, with a contest now underway to decide which local artist will be handed the task of immortalising Iniesta in statue form.
The winning sculptor will be announced in February 2019, with the project then due for completion and inauguration in July 2020.
"Andres represents the values of the Albacete society which are humility, simplicity and effort," Mayor Serrano said.
Speaking at a news conference, Iniesta's father, Jose Antonio, appeared emotional as he reacted to the news.
"We only have words of thanks for this nice detail [...] from the Albacete city council," he said. "He [Andres] is an ambassador for this region and this is a nice human gesture. We are thrilled and can only say thanks."
This won't be the first public artwork dedicated to Iniesta by the people of his local community, with the ex-Barcelona star already boasting a bronze statue in his home village of Fuentealbilla which was erected in 2013.
Let's hope it turns out better than these did.
ESPN FC's Adriana Garcia also contributed to this report