J-League outfit Vissel Kobe have confirmed that they have signed FC Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta.
Click through the mini-gallery above to see pictures of Andres Iniesta's unveiling at his new club.
The 34-year-old, who has been included in Spain's 2018 FIFA World Cup squad, ended his 22-year stay wth the Spanish giants, with whom he won 32 major trophies, this month.
The veteran midfielder, who made 675 senior appearances for the Blaugrana, will link up with former Arsenal and Germany forward Lukas Podolski at Kobe after reportedly signing a two-year deal.
"Rakuten Vissel Kobe, Inc. today announced that Andres Iniesta will join Vissel Kobe, the much-loved Western Japan football club, after a historic career at FC Barcelona, one of the most iconic and beloved football clubs in the world," a statement on the Japanese club's official website read.
"Since the beginning of his professional career with FC Barcelona in 2002, Iniesta has not only become one of the top players in the world, he is also renowned for his embodiment of the philosophy and values of the iconic club, with his commitment to teamwork and beautiful play. With a social media presence that includes over 74 million followers, Iniesta is also known as a global influencer.
“Iniesta developed his football career through the FC Barcelona cantera, the club’s unique youth league system that fosters young players, and his addition to Vissel Kobe is not only expected to draw in fans to see his world-class playing style but is expected to inspire the team and contribute to the development of the next generation of players through the introduction of the Iniesta Methodology to the youth academy. As Vissel Kobe works toward its goal of becoming the number one club in Asia, the entry of Iniesta to the team will energize football both in Japan and across Asia.”
Vissel Kobe are currently in sixth position in the Japanese top flight, 15 points behind leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Are you surprised that Iniesta decided to move to Japan? Have your say in the comments section below.