Andres Iniesta says he will not forced into retirement by Philippe Coutinho’s arrival at Barcelona.
The £145million signing has been heralded as the long-term successor to Iniesta at the Nou Camp.
But, having signed a ‘lifetime deal’ at Barca earlier this year, Iniesta insists that Coutinho is merely adding to the pool of talent at the Catalan club.
Iniesta said: “There will never be a player that can make me retire or kick me out of here.
“At 33 years of age, that isn’t the issue. Coutinho has come here to improve us.
“I’m a player for this club and I’ve always said that only the best can play for this club.
Coutinho is expected to compete with Iniesta to play as a Barca playmaker
“That makes Coutinho one of the best. He’s young and he has an innate talent, while Barcelona are a club where he can keep growing.
“I’m happy that he’s one of the best players in his position. He has the things that we like.”
Iniesta has spent 16 years in the Barcelona first team.