It was a special day for Sergi Samper. The Catalan midfielder played at every level at FC Barcelona, but said goodbye at a press conference on Tuesday. The 24-year-old Samper is set to join Vissel Kobe after having his contract cancelled on Monday. He was grateful to everyone following an 18-year career at Barça.
"I've had some tough moments, but I've been very fortunate," he said. "It has been an incredible life experience and I'll always remember the great professionals, my teammates, and friends. I'm leaving knowing that this is my home and it will always be my home."
Sergi Samper is going to Japan to play for Vissel Kobe. After having suffered so many injuries, he just wants "to play and enjoy football" again, calling Vissel's project "solid and ambitious."
Samper made the decision in just a week. "They called me to ask and it sounded quite interesting. I've spoken to Andrés Iniesta several times and he told me the league is very technical and that I would have fun there. I've also spoken to their president, Hiroshi Mikitani, as well as their vice president and technical director. I'm really motivated and excited."
"This is a great opportunity," he said. "I want to prove myself, to see where I can get. I have a lot of confidence in myself and we'll see what happens in the future. I'm not afraid to leave, but I have respect for Barça, and I will never forget where I came from. I carry the Club in my heart."