J.League is Iniesta's new address

Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta kicked off a new chapter to his career when he signed for Japanese side Vissel Kobe on Thursday, swapping La Liga for the J.League after 16 stellar years at Spanish champions Barcelona.

By Reuters in Tokyo
  • Published 25.05.18
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Tokyo: Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta kicked off a new chapter to his career when he signed for Japanese side Vissel Kobe on Thursday, swapping La Liga for the J.League after 16 stellar years at Spanish champions Barcelona.

The 34-year-old former Barca captain, who had spent his entire career at the Nou Camp, was introduced at a news conference in Tokyo by Kobe owner Hiroshi Mikitani and will wear his familiar No. 8 jersey for the J.League side.

"This is a very special day. This is a very important challenge for me and my career," Iniesta said, noting that he had a lot of respect for Japanese soccer, which had many high-level players.

"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."