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Iniesta signs with Japan's Vissel Kobe

Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta has signed with Japanese side Vissel Kobe, kicking off a new chapter in his career after a storied 16 years with Barcelona, the J.League club said on Thursday.

Former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta bids fans and teammates goodbye following his final game for the side. Picture: @FCBarcelona/Twitter

TOKYO - Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta has signed with Japanese side Vissel Kobe, kicking off a new chapter in his career after a storied 16 years with Barcelona, the J-League club said on Thursday.

The 34-year-old former Barcelona captain, who had spent his entire career with the Spanish giants, was introduced at a news conference in Tokyo by Kobe owner Hiroshi Mikitani.

Ahead of the official announcement, Iniesta had posted on Instagram a photo of himself and Mikitani with a message that he was “heading to my new home”.

Mikitani is also the head of Barca’s main sponsor Rakuten.