efe-epaMadrid

Spain's cabinet on Friday decided to award Barcelona's captain Andres Iniesta with the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sports Merit, the highest honor the government gives at the sporting level.

Iniesta, who announced he would leave the La Liga club by the end of the season, joined a list of sporting figures who had won the honor, including his former teammate Xavi Hernandez, Iker Casillas and former national team coach Vicente del Bosque.

"Iniesta has ended his sporting run at Barcelona winning his 32nd title and played for many Spain national teams," Spanish government spokesman Íñigo Méndez de Vigo said at a press conference.

After leading Spain to their maiden World Cup title in South Africa 2010, the government awarded Del Bosque the same honor, while Casillas and Xavi were honored in 2015.