Andres Iniesta announced his departure on Thursday Vissel Kobe From Japanwhere he has been playing since 2018, and now he is looking for a new destination to end his sports career, after which he has the commitment to return to Japan and the desire to return to Japan one day. FC Barcelonahe said.
The legendary footballer, protagonist of a generation that achieved historic goals with Barça and with the Spanish team, thus put an end to what was his most important sporting period after that of the Catalan team, and which, according to what he assured , it won’t be the last yet.
“I know that when time passes I’m closer to the end of my sporting career, it’s the law of life,” said the 39-year-old Iniesta on Thursday, who added however that “he wants to finish his career playing on a soccer field” and that he still feels “capable and deluded” about it.
Iniesta and his dissatisfaction with the lack of leadership
Iniesta read an emotional farewell message to his Japanese fans during his media appearance, held at the Okura Hotel in Kobe (Western Japan) and in the company of the owner of the Vissel, the tycoon Hiroshi Mikitaniand before his teammates and family.
The footballer started his appearance by saying he was coming to Japan “It was one of the best decisions of his life”and admitted that he has had “very good moments” with his club, but also “some very tough ones”.
On the positives, he highlighted winning the 2019 Emperor’s Cup title, and on the negatives, he highlighted the injury he suffered last year and this caused him to miss several games.
His decision to move came “by mutual agreement” with the club and after progressively losing importance in a team in which he was undisputed in his early years, and before he arrived bad series of injuries for him and results for the club.
“You begin to understand how the season ends and how this one begins. And above all how the last few months have gone by,” said Iniesta, answering questions from the media after reading your farewell messageand in which he further explained the reasons for his decision.
“It was a very difficult situation, because in the end what makes me happy is playing football,” said the midfielder, who underlined that he “continued to train to play” and “work very hard” until he felt “very Well”. after his latest injury.
“I want to end up on the pitch, or at least try to. But the coach’s idea is different, it’s a reality because I didn’t participate at all,” he underlined.
In this season of the Japanese championship, which began last February, Iniesta accumulates only 85 minutes in five League and Cup appearances. His team leads the J-League after 14 games played.
Future at Vissel… and at Barcelona?
The agreement to terminate the contract he had with Vissel until the end of the year includes the return of Manchego to the Kobe club once he has hung up his bootsas can be seen from what was explained today by both sides.
“The next thing will be to be at Vissel in another area,” Iniesta said when asked by EFE about a possible return to FC Barcelona following his retirement, to join the coaching staff of his former locker room partner and friend Xavi Hernández.
“From then on I like to think a lot about the present and the present is keep playingtry to keep playing football for the years I have left, and then we’ll see,” he commented.
“As I have said many times, I would like to return to Barcelona at some point in my lifebut I still think it’s a long way off,” he added.
“Above all, I hope Xavi spends many years as a coach, it would be great news for football,” concluded the scorer of the goal that gave Spain victory in the World Cup 2010 in South Africa.
The footballer will play his last game with the Vissel shirt on July 1st in his stadium, in a national competition match, and before that, On 6 June he will be in a friendly match against Barça at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, in a match that is presented as a tribute to his career.
Iniesta joined Vissel Kobe in July 2018 and was part of the best eleven players in the Japanese league in 2019 and 2021.
With the Kobe team, he played a total of 132 matches and scored 26 goals, spread across four competitions, and won two titles, the Emperor’s Cup (2019) and the Japan Super Cup (2020), according to data from the club.
Although the footballer did not want to give any clues about what will be his new destination and the last stage of his professional career, the Japanese media have indicated that he manages offers from the United States and the Middle East.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.