Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta has coughed up €240,000 ($312,000) in order to keep Spanish third division side Albacete from entering administration and facing relegation.
The club where Iniesta began his youth career, Albacete owed that amount to players and was unable to pay, with noon Friday the deadline set for the club to pay.
Iniesta joined Albacete’s youth system at just 10 years of age, and played there for two years before moving to Barcelona in 1996.
“When I was 12 my father saved money for 3 months to buy me Predator boots” said Iniesta following the payment. “Each time I look at them I remember where I come from.”
The 29-year-old midfielder happens to be the majority shareholder at the Segunda B side, having made large contributions like this in the past. In 2011 he paid €420,000 ($547,000) to help the financially struggling club. That payment netted Iniesta shares in the club and gave him a majority share.