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Vissel Kobe vs Barcelona friendly 2023: why is Barca playing the Japanese team as Iniesta bids farewell

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Andres Iniesta and Anthony Reveillere Spain France Euro 2012

Barcelona, one Europe’s most elite clubs, has increasingly produced some of the most iconic names in world football; one of the names you could think of is Andres Iniesta. 

 

The legendary midfielder played for the Blaugrana became captain, and was part of the squad that won some of the biggest trophies in football in the past decade.

 

Why is Barcelona playing against Vissel Kobe?

According to Barcelona’s official website, the club will travel to Japan to take on Vissel Kobe featuring former players Andrés Iniesta and Sergi Samper, on June 6.

 

Andres Iniesta joined Vissel Kobe following his exit from Barcelona in 2018. And after four more than four seasons, the Spanish had already established himself as one of the club’s biggest players.

 

 

He was actively involved in the team’s success in the Japanese Emperor’s Cup in 2019 and the Super Cup in 2023. And even though he could not win the domestic league, he played a significant role at the club.

 

While at FC Barcelona, he became one of the greatest players after twenty years at the club. He won nine Laliga titles, four UEFA Champions League, six Copa del Rey, two UEFA Super Cups, three FIFA Club World Cups, and six Supercopa de España.

 

According to Goal, the 39-year-old confirmed his decision to leave Japanese side Vissel Kobe and also expressed his desire to return to FC Barcelona.

 

 

ESPN also reveals Iniesta may not retire from football when he leaves the Japanese top-flight club. Sources told the media outlets regarding offers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Major League Soccer in the United States.

 

“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.” Said Iniesta, as relayed by ESPN.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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