Madrid — It will be a weekend of goodbyes in Spain as La Liga season draws to a close, with Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta and Atletico Madrid’s Fernando Torres set to play their last games for their boyhood clubs.
Champions Barca will look to give Iniesta the perfect send-off when they host Real Sociedad on Sunday.
The midfielder, 34, recently announced he would leave the club he has been at since the age of 12, with local media reporting he will move to Japan in the close season. The club will pay an emotional tribute to its captain with an elaborate mosaic reading "Infinite Iniesta" in Catalan displayed by fans in the Nou Camp stadium.
Barca lost their first league game of the season last weekend away to Levante, denying them the chance to finish the campaign unbeaten. Coach Ernesto Valverde, however, believes that nothing should detract from his double-winning side’s achievements this season.
"These things seem easy and they’re not," he said. "We managed to get as far as we did. Of course we’re annoyed to not have the chance to go through the season unbeaten."
Europa League winners Atletico host mid-table Eibar on Sunday before saying goodbye to Torres, whose second spell with the club finishes at the end of this season when his contract expires. Torres, 34, has supported Atletico since he was five years old and joined their academy as a young boy, making his first-team debut at the age of 17 in 2001 when they were in Spain’s second division.
Champions League finalists Real Madrid, who will finish third behind Barca and Atletico Madrid, travel to Villarreal on Saturday. Coach Zinedine Zidane says winning the league is a special achievement, but he is happy to take solace from his team’s performance in Europe.
"Winning the league is the most difficult thing you can do," Zidane said. "For us the King’s Cup and La Liga haven’t gone well, but we’re in the Champions League final. We want to defend our title and win a trophy that everybody wants to win."
Real meet Liverpool in next weekend’s final.