Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has hailed Andres Iniesta following the iconic midfielder's announcement that he is to leave Barcelona next month.
The Spain international will bring down the curtain on a career at Camp Nou that spans 22 years to join an unnamed team in the Chinese Super League.
Zidane has admitted to being a fan of Iniesta's both on and off the field, and is adamant that the 33-year-old was deserving of at least one Ballon d'Or award during his hugely successful stint in Catalonia.
"It is difficult because if you like football, seeing a player like him leave is tough," he told reporters. "I don't think of him as a Barcelona player - I see him simply as a football player.
"I've come across him two or three times and he is a charming, very reserved man and I like players who can do everything on the field but are that calm off it.
"I only have good words for him, admiration for his football and I wish him the best as a player for the future but above all, as a person.
"We're talking about someone who made everyone dream and he deserved to win the Ballon d'Or, especially in the year he won the World Cup. It was clear then that he deserved it."
Iniesta, who lifted the World Cup with Spain in 2010, could rack up his 32nd major honour with Barcelona this weekend if they secure top spot in La Liga.