Iniesta (39) has contract dissolved in Japan, but wants to keep playing soccer

Iniesta (39) has contract dissolved in Japan, but wants to keep playing soccer
Iniesta was captain in Japan two seasons ago, but is now mostly on the bench

NOS Soccer

Andrés Iniesta is leaving his Japanese club Vissel Kobe. The Spanish soccer legend is not satisfied with the number of playing minutes he is getting. Iniesta had a contract until the end of this year, but has had his contract terminated. The 39-year-old midfielder is free to look for a new club as of July 1.

Iniesta was full of tears when announcing his departure from the Japanese frontrunner, the club where he has played since 2018. “This is one of the hardest decisions of my career. I always thought I’d retire here, but it didn’t go the way I wanted. It seemed the coach had other priorities.”

“I want to keep playing soccer. I think I’m still capable of playing. Now that this chapter is closing, we’ll see what’s possible. I want to end my career on the field playing.” Iniesta received only three substitute appearances this year. Vissel Kobe is 3 points clear in Japan after 14 games. The club previously never finished higher than third place in the J1 competition.

Iniesta was in tears at press conference over his farewell

The Spaniard left FC Barcelona five years ago. Iniesta was part of the core of the team that, among other things, won the Champions League four times. Two trebles were even achieved under trainers Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique.

Iniesta also achieved successes with the Spanish team. With the 2008 European Championship, the 2010 World Cup, in which he scored the winning goal in the final against the Netherlands, and the 2012 European Championship, he even won three final tournaments in a row.

Kayleigh Williams