The legendary FC Barcelona and Spain midfielder has agreed to leave the Japanese club by mutual consent this summer.
Andres Iniesta has explained that the reason he has decided to leave Vissel Kobe is because the manager, Takayuki Yoshida, has ‘different priorities’ than playing him.
The 39-year-old has not started a single game in Japan all season. In Vissel Kobe’s 14 J-League games so far, he has made just three substitute appearances. Nevertheless, the Japanese side has taken the lead in the league standings.
This appears to have been the deciding factor behind Iniesta’s decision to leave Vissel Kobe – a decision he described as one of the hardest of his career.
“I always thought I would retire here, but things haven’t gone as I wanted them to,” an emotional Iniesta said at a press conference on Thursday.
“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 won’t retire after leaving Vissel Kobe
The World Cup winner joined Vissel Kobe in 2018 from Barcelona. He planned to end his career at the club, but recent events have forced a change of plans.
That said, Iniesta has made it clear that he has no plans to retire.
“I want to finish my time here properly and then see what options are available to me,” he said.
“I want to keep playing and then retire while I’m still active. That’s difficult for me to do here, so I want to find a place where I can eventually retire.”
During his time with Vissel Kobe, Iniesta won both the Emperor’s Cup and the Japanese Super Cup. The veteran midfielder has made 133 appearances for the club. He has supplied 26 goals and 25 assists.
“Andres Iniesta se ha divertido en El Hormiguero…” by ElHormiguero is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.