Spanish Legend Iniesta, 39, Wishes to Continue Despite Struggling with Age

At a press conference on Thursday, Iniesta fought back tears while announcing his departure from Vissel Kobe.

Spanish and former Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta broke down in tears on Thursday during a press conference after he announced his immediate departure from Japanese football club Vissel Kobe. The 39-year-old said that despite his wanting to continue, the club’s manager has other priorities, and therefore, his services are not more required by the club.

For the record, the FIFA World Cup winner joined Vissel Kobe in 2018. Prior to that, he spent 22 years at Spanish club Barcelona, making 674 senior appearances and winning 32 trophies.

Since 2018, for Vissel Kobe, Iniesta has played 133 games, winning the domestic Emperor’s Cup in 2019 and the Japanese Super Cup in 2020. Unfortunately, in the ongoing football season, despite training hard, Iniesta was only allowed to play three games. Therefore, he is set to leave the club midway through.

Iniesta’s words

During the conference, the legendary Spanish player said, “I have to tell you the truth, I don’t know. I want to keep playing football. I feel like I am capable of still playing. But as this chapter closes, we’ll see what’s possible. I want to finish my career on the pitch playing, and this is what I’m hoping to do. It’s a very emotional day after so many years. I tried to give my best on and off the pitch. I am very proud of that.”

“For the past few months, I’ve trained hard with the intention of contributing to the team, but I started to feel that the coach had different priorities,” Iniesta added.

Club’s statement

The club also released a statement saying, “We regret to announce the departure of Andres Iniesta from our club. For five years since joining, we express our heartfelt gratitude to Iniesta, who has made significant contributions to Vissel Kobe.”

Iniesta’s next move is not known at the moment, but Barcelona fans on Twitter have already started to root for his return to Barcelona. One user on Twitter wrote, “Play for Barca for a year and teach Pedri, Gavi, and Pablo Torres how to play in midfield.”


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