Andres Iniesta plays FINAL game for Vissel Kobe in J-League

Andres Iniesta plays FINAL game for Vissel Kobe in J-League

Spanish Football legend Andrés Iniesta played his final game for Vissel Kobe on Saturday, July 1, in the J-League.

Spanish football legend Andres Iniesta played his last game for the Japanese club Vissel Kobe on Saturday. The Spaniard will now continue his illustrious career elsewhere. The 39-year-old started his final game in midfield wearing the captain’s armband and played the first 57 minutes of Kobe’s 1-1 home draw with Consadole Sapporo in the J-League.

Iniesta made over 600 appearances for Barcelona, winning the Champions League four times and claiming nine La Liga titles before joining Kobe in 2018.

He has said he intends to keep playing but has not announced where his next move will be.

On Saturday, in the 36th minute, he broke into the penalty area and tried to score a goal to the cheers of the spectators.

But 12 minutes into the second half, he was substituted with his team a goal down.

After the final whistle, a cheering spectator was seeing holding a banner that read “Gracias Iniesta.”

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Andres Iniesta joined Vissel Kobe on a three-year deal with a reported annual salary of $30 million, which he extended in May 2021.

He won Japan’s domestic Emperor’s Cup in 2019 and led Vissel to the semi-finals of the Asian Champions League a year later.

But he has been used sparingly by the club this season, explaining in May that he wanted to leave Kobe so that he could “retire while I’m still active”.

He played for Kobe in a friendly against Barcelona in Tokyo last month, sharing a hug with manager and former midfield partner Xavi as he left the pitch.

Widely considered one of the greatest players of his generation, Iniesta has been linked with a non-playing role at Barcelona.

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