We reported back at the beginning of May that Iniesta was on his way to Japan and this is now confirmed. We have even seen the official photos with the shirt so there is no going back for the Spanish superstar.
The team the Spanish man will be joining is Vissel Kobe. At the end of last week, Iniesta took part in a press-conference with Vissel Kobe Chairman Hiroshi Mikitani.
“Today is a very special day. This is a significant challenge for me. My family is very happy for this opportunity to come to Japan. We would like to progress within this project. I will like to devote myself to spread not only this club, but J.League throughout Asia. Japan is one of my favorite counties. I will like to get used to the Japanese culture as soon as possible. “
What do you think of Japanese football?
“I respect Japanese football, including the players. My impression of Japanese football is that, the skill level is at a high level and the players uses their head. They also utilize combinations. I am very familiar with the J.League and the Japan National Team. I am here in Japan to display my football, and by doing so, I sincerely hope that it will help the overall development of Japanese football.“
What made you decide to play in Japan, and for Vissel Kobe?
“I was blessed with many offers. The reason I chose Kobe over the other offers was that I was very interested in the project presented by them. They have also showed great amount of trust for me. I think Japan is a great country and their culture is wonderful as well. I hope to get used to the country and contribute to the team.”
What do you like about Japan?
“Everything. I love the people here. I think it is important for me to get used to the culture as soon as possible.”
Along with saying all the right things it is also reported he is moving to Japan and Vissel Kobe for business and personal reasons outside of football.
As Iniesta, explained himself the reason for a move to Japan and not China was partly down to lifestyle, not only for him but for his wife and three children.
The reason then for moving to Vissel Kobe is that the club is owned by Rakuten (Barcelona sponsor) so this will help to finance the deal. As the club looks to become Asia's best side this signing will be a huge boost despite the side being 15 points off the top at the moment.