Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta enters his new chapter on his decorated football career after signing with Japanese football club of Vissel Kobe of the Japanese J1-League from FC Barcelona.
”This is a big challenge for me,” Iniesta told some 4,000 fans through an interpreter quoted in a report of The Daily Mail after he was unveiled last May 26th.
”I aim to contribute to the team as much as possible,” Iniesta added in which he signed a three-year contract with the club. ”I think I should pursue the best objectives in both football and my life.”
The signing of Iniesta to the team is a boost of the club, which placed at ninth during the 2017 J1-League season.
FC Barcelona sends off the Spanish midfielder who is also vital in Spain conquest of the 2010 World Cup in a win against Real Sociedad 1-0 last May 21 at Camp Nou, courtesy of a goal from Philippe Countinho in the 8th minute.
“My time at Barça ends here because I know how demanding the club is and what it means to be captain of the best team in the world,” said Iniesta via The Telegraph. “I wanted to be honest with myself and the club.
“It is difficult to say goodbye to what has been my home and life but I’d never forgiven myself if I stayed here without being fully up to it physically or mentally, Iniesta explained as he stayed in Camp Nou in the late hours of morning to reflect on his 16-year stint with FC Barcelona.
“It was never easy to leave my family when I was just 12. It was a hard journey, but all that sacrifice was worth it because my dream of being a success at Barça came true.”
In his time with FC Barcelona, the 34-year-old won four La Liga, four Champions League, and two European Cup titles.
He also appeared in 442 games with FC Barcelona and nailed 35 goals.
Fernando Torres leaves Atletico Madrid; several clubs showing interest
Fernando Torres also bid farewell to his current club, Atletico Madrid in playing his last game against Eibar, unluckily for Torres and Atletico Madrid, the match ended in a draw 2-2.
Torres scored Atletico Madrid goals during the 45th and 60th minute.
“When I left [the first time], I dreamed about returning, and I had the chance to come back to Atletico,” Torres said via ESPN.com. “As a player, I won’t be back again. The most difficult [thing] is that this is over, I will never put on this jersey again.
“What the future holds, I cannot say. When you are so connected to a club, the normal thing is that we find each other again. I hope I return. With my experience, I can help in the club’s global growth. I don’t know if I will be prepared. I need some time to reflect, but it would be magnificent to help in whatever way I could,” Torres added.
The 34-year-old played 321 games and scored 109 goals in his two stints with Atletico Madrid from 2001 to 2007 and 2015 to 2018. Torres also helped Atletico Madrid to clinch the 2018 UEFA Europa League title
Aside from playing for Atletico Madrid, Torres also played for Chelsea in which he helped win the FA Cup in 2012, UEFA champions league in 2012 and 2013. He also suited for Liverpool and AC Milan and part of Spain’s 2010 World Cup championship team.
With Torres is now a free agent, according to multiple reports, several clubs are now interested in acquiring his services which include Major League Soccer (MLS) team Chicago Fire, Japanese J1- League team Sagan Tosu and Chinese Super League team Beijing Renhe.
“I’m very proud to have been part of this group,” Torres quoted in the same ESPN.com report told the crowd. “For sure, you are going to achieve what we all want. I give thanks to all the Atletico family. It has been a privilege to wear this jersey more than 400 times [and] it is very hard to know this is the end.
“You’ve made me the happiest person in the world. I’m going to ask one more thing of you: to sing our club anthem, the loveliest song in the world,” Torres concluded as the Spaniard joined the crowd in signing the club anthem.