Andres Iniesta to join Japanese club Vissel Kobe

Rishabh Gupta
|Published 24/05/2018

The 33-year old midfielder is expected to sign a three-year deal with the club. Iniesta played his final game for FC Barcelona last week.

Spain’s legendary midfielder Andres Iniesta has announced his move to Japan. He posted a picture on social media with the owner of Vissel Kobe, saying, “Heading to my new home, with my friend @hiroshi.mikitani.”

Iniesta played his last game for FC Barcelona last Sunday. The Spanish media reported on Wednesday that Iniesta has signed a three-year deal with Vissel Kobe.

The owner of the Japanese club, Hiroshi Mikitani, is also the chief executive of Barcelona’s primary sponsor, Rakuten.

An instagram picture showed Andres Iniesta with the owner of Vissel Kobe, in an aircraft. It is reported that Iniesta will hold a press conference later today in Japan to formally announce the move.

Andres Iniesta announced his decision to leave FC Barcelona in April. The midfielder joined the Catalan club in 1996, and has since been the part of Barcelona.

Iniesta lifted his 9th La Liga title with FC Barcelona this season, as the club completed the domestic double. He was given a guard of honour in his final game last week. The Spanish midfielder made 674 appearances for Barca, during which he won various domestic and continental honours with the club.

He has also enjoyed success with the international side, and is in the squad for the World Cup in Russia.

Vissel Kobe is captained by former German star Lukas Podolski. The club has never won the Japanese league title, and are currently 6th in the league table. Iniesta will follow former Barcelona star Gary Linekar, who played in Japan for Nagoya Grampus Eight. Interestingly, the side was then managed by Arsene Wenger.

After signing with Vissel Kobe, Iniesta will return to Spain where he will be joining the squad for world cup preparations.

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Rishabh Gupta

Rishabh Gupta

A sports enthusiast. Sports, I believe, is one of the few powers which help us grow, both as an individual and society. With each day, in the rich world of sports, I grow.

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