Iniesta does not want to stop: 39-year-old Spaniard leaves Vissel Kobe and is looking for a new club


Andres Iniesta, the former star of FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team, announced on Thursday that he will be leaving Vissel Kobe in Japan’s J-League earlier than expected. The 39-year-old midfielder is looking for a new club to end his rich football career.

Maxime CaeymanBron: BELGIAN

Iniesta’s contract with Vissel Kobe expires at the end of this year. But the Spanish midfielder, who spent most of the season on the bench, said he will leave as early as July. “First I want to end my stay here in a nice way and then I will see what options are open to me,” an emotional Iniesta said at a press conference organized by his club. “I want to keep playing football and then retire from football when I am still active. It’s hard for me to do that here, so I want to find another place for it.”

Iniesta moved to Vissel Kobe in 2018 – where he earns an estimated annual salary of $30 million – after 16 years in the Barcelona first team. With Barça he won all the trophies there was to be won, including four Champions League titles and nine La Liga titles. With Spain he won the World Cup in 2010 – Iniesta scored the only goal in the final against the Netherlands (1-0) – and two European titles (2008 and 2012). At Vissel Kobe, Iniesta won the Emperor’s Cup in 2019 and the Japanese Super Cup in 2020. This season he played just five games as a substitute.

Vissel Kobe is also the former club of Thomas Vermaelen. The former Red Devil left the club at the end of 2021 and then put an end to his career.

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