Search icon


24th May 2018

Andres Iniesta has signed with Japanese side Vissel Kobe

He had been linked with moves to MLS and China

Wayne Farry

He has made his long-awaited move from Barcelona

Andres Iniesta has left Barcelona after 22 years at the club as both a youth and senior player, and has joined Japanese side Vissel Kobe

The Spain international, who was named in his country’s squad for the summer’s upcoming World Cup, announced that he would be joining the club this week after discussions with the club’s owner Hiroshi Mikitani, a man who is also CEO of Barcelona’s primary sponsor, Rakuten.

The deal with Kobe, which has reportedly seen Iniesta find an Asian distributor for his wine company, will also include the introduction of a youth academy overseen by Iniesta.

Much speculation has centred around where the 34-year-old would end up, with numerous reports linking him with moves either to the Chinese Super League and MLS.

But in the end it seems to have been the influence and assurances of Mikitani which has persuaded Iniesta into joining Kobe, where he will play alongside another World Cup winner, Germany’s Lukas Podolski.