What has become of Andres Iniesta When did you leave

What has become of Andrés Iniesta? When did you leave the Spain team?

(CNN Spanish) — Andrés Iniesta is still playing at 38 years of age. The Spanish soccer legend is currently in the ranks of Vissel Kobe, the Japanese team that welcomed him when he left FC Barcelona and after leaving the Spanish team, world champion thanks to his goal in South Africa 2010 but eliminated four years then in the group stage in Brazil.

Far from the spotlight of European football where he achieved success, the midfielder reflects on the future of his career and admits that he wants to return home to Barcelona, ​​but this time not as a player.

“I would love to go back to Barça, it’s my home, but I still don’t know if as a coach, sports director… something like that,” he said this year in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sportwhose statements were picked up by the media in Spain.

Four years have passed since Iniesta said goodbye to the historic Barça team of which he was a part along with other greats such as Xavi, Puyol and Messi. They are the same years since he left the Spain team, one of the favorites to win the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Iniesta to Japanese football

Andrés Iniesta: three years after his Blaugrana goodbye 1:08

Iniesta made his debut at the age of 18 in the FC Barcelona first team and left at 34. He spent more than a decade at the Catalan side (16 years to be precise), where the midfielder became a legend and was key to the successes of the Team: He won four Champions Leagues and nine Spanish leagues, to name a few, he also won the UEFA Best Player in Europe award in 2012, establishing himself as one of the best in the world.

Iniesta announced his departure from FC Barcelona on April 27, 2018, in an emotional press conference in front of his first team teammates.

“I don’t want to fool anyone. In a few days I will be 34 years old and I have squeezed myself to the maximum during all these years. Being honest with myself and with the club that has given me everything, I understand that my stage ends for the simple fact that the The club that welcomed me at the age of 12 deserves the best of me”, the footballer confessed that day.

But Iniesta would not leave the court. He left a few months later for Japan’s Vissel Kobe, who are currently 13th in the J1 League standings. Since then he has played in the ranks of the Japanese team where he continues to reap success: he has scored 26 goals in four seasons and has won an Emperor’s Cup and a Japan Super Cup.

Iniesta says goodbye to “La Roja”

Andrés Iniesta and his debut with ‘La Roja’ 16 years ago 0:40

“It is a reality that today is my last game with the national team. On an individual level, a wonderful stage is coming to an end. Sometimes the endings are not as one dreams, but circumstances mark it that way”, this is how Iniesta said goodbye to the Spain team , when she was eliminated in the round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Eight years earlier, the story was different. In South Africa 2010, Iniesta scored the goal that led Spain to lift its first World Cup after beating the Netherlands in extra time.

Iniesta’s time with the Spanish team marked a before and after for Spain in football. His skill and calm control of the ball, his vision of the game and his elegant style made him the ultimate definition of stability within the team. With his key with Xavi they made the best midfield in Europe both at Barça and in the national team.

The legend of FC Barcelona made his debut in the Spanish senior team on May 27, 2006. The player played 131 games with “La Roja” and managed to win two consecutive Euro Cups (2008 and 2012) until his departure in 2018.

With information from Daniel Lauchú, Euan McKirdy, James Griffiths