Iniesta joins Japanese side Vissel Kobe
NEWS DIGEST – Andres Iniesta has completed a move to Vissel Kobe just days after leaving Barcelona, the Japanese side announced.
Having graduated out of the famed La Masia academy system in Catalunya, the 33-year-old matured into one of the most decorated players of the modern era.
He helped Barca win nine La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns during his time at Camp Nou, while also landing World Cup and European Championship honours with Spain.
Iniesta has, however, decided to open himself up to a new challenge and will be continuing his distinguished career in Asia.
He told reporters after signing the contract: “This is a very special day for me. This is a very important challenge for my career. I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude for your trust in this project.”
Vissel Kobe paraded their new signing at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday.
The club’s chairman, Hiroshi Mikitaini – who is the chief executive of Japanese electronics company Rakuten, who are Barcelona’s shirt sponsors – believes Iniesta can be “a terrific inspiration for Japanese football society” and help Vissel Kobe complete their “goal of becoming the number one club in Asia”.
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