Andres Iniesta has decided to leave Japanese side Vissel Kobe at the end of his contract. The midfielder, 39, has been with them since 2018 and has made 133 appearances for the first team, winning the Emperor’s Cup in 2019 and the Japanese Super Cup the following season.
This season, his playing time has been limited to only three appearances off the bench. However, he has no plans to retire from professional football and will assess his options before finding a new challenge.
Andres Iniesta to leave Vissel Kobe on July 1
“I want to finish my time here properly and then see what options are available to me,” Andres Iniesta said.”I always thought I would retire here, but things haven’t gone as I wanted them to,” he added.
“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.”
“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.”
The former Barcelona midfielder added that leaving Vissel Kobe was one of the hardest decisions of his career. He could be set for a return to Europe with the transfer window set to open in a few weeks. However, a spell in another Asian country cannot be ruled out for him either.