the-afc.com : 11 MAY, 2021, 2:54 PM
FIFA World Cup winning midfielder Andres Iniesta has extended his contract with J.League side Vissel Kobe for another two years, keeping the Spanish legend at the club until 2023.
The 37-year-old, who scored the winning goal when Spain defeated the Netherlands in the FIFA World Cup final in 2010, joined Vissel in 2018 after a stellar club career with Barcelona, which saw him win four UEFA Champions League titles and nine La Liga crowns.
niesta helped Vissel to their first major trophy when he was a key part of the side that won the 2019 Emperor’s Cup, a victory that qualified Kobe for the AFC Champions League for the first time in the club’s history.
Vissel shone on their debut in the continental competition, reaching the semi-finals before losing out to eventual winners Ulsan Hyundai from Korea Republic in the last four clash in Doha.
Iniesta had been instrumental in the team’s progress to the semi-finals, scoring a penalty in the shoot-out win over Suwon Samsung Bluewings in the quarter-finals despite sustaining a thigh injury that ultimately kept him out of the semi-final.
That injury required surgery at the end of the AFC Champions League campaign and Iniesta made his first appearance of the 2021 J-League season on May 1 as he came off the bench for the final 15 minutes when Kobe handed Sanfrecce Hiroshima a 3-1 defeat.
Kobe are currently in fifth place in the J.League standings, 18 points behind runaway leaders Kawasaki Frontale, as they look to secure one of the competition’s three berths in the 2022 AFC Champions League.
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