Andres Iniesta has joined Vissel Kobe after leaving Barcelona.
The legendary midfielder left the Catalan giants last weekend after over two decades at the club where he won more than 30 trophies.
The 34-year-old was unveiled as the Japanese club’s new signing on Thursday.
Kobe owner, Hiroshi Mikitani, said;
“I am pleased to announce that Andres Iniesta will be signing up to play for Vissel Kobe after his historic career at FC Barcelona.”
“Iniesta is a top global player. Many of us will recall Iniesta’s astounding goal in the final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa that brought Spain its first title in the tournament.
“Since 2015, Iniesta has also led FC Barcelona as captain and last year he was the first player to sign a lifetime contract with the club.”
“I am confident Iniesta’s philosophy, leadership and DNA will be a terrific inspiration, not only for Vissel Kobe but all Japanese football society.
“We look forward to Andres Iniesta not only strengthening the team’s performance but also contributing to the development of the next generation of players through the introduction of the Iniesta methodology to the youth academy.
“We believe his decision to come to Japan will have a major impact, not just on Vissel Kobe, but on football in Japan and Asia.”
Iniesta added during a press conference;
“This is a very special day. This is a very important challenge for me and my career.”
“Therefore, I would like to contribute to my team and show my style of play.
That is why I came to Japan and through my play I hope to make contributions for further development for the club and Japanese soccer.”