IN MY OWN WORDS: Andrés Iniesta

IN MY OWN WORDS: Andrés Iniesta

The former Barça captain talks about his experience in Japan as Vissel Kobe prepare to host FC Barcelona in a few days time

On July 22 it will be a year since my debut in a Vissel Kobe shirt. One year already, and a very intense year at all levels. My first year as a former Barça player and my first year in a country, Japan, that is so different from Spain. 

I have said so many times, I wish I could've continued playing at FC Barcelona for the rest of my career, alongside all the friends I have in the dressing room, in the magnificent stadium that is the Camp Nou, with the affection of the fans and playing in great competitions like La Liga and the Champions League. But there are moments in life where you have to make decisions. I already made one at 12 years of age, with the support of my family, when I left Fuentealbilla to go to La Masia. I did it again a year ago, with the support of my extended family once more. I came to Japan to continue enjoying football, and that's what I'm doing because it's what I like the most.

It will be strange to play against my old club. It will be a very emotional day for me

Andrés Iniesta

Regarding results, they're not as good as we would like, but the football experience is very interesting. Japanese football is very competitive and, although it doesn't look like it, the fans are very passionate. The atmosphere in the stadiums is really amazing. You will see that when we play against Barça on July 27th in Kobe, because the Noevir Stadium will surely be full. I am always pleasantly surprised by the affection that all the fans give me wherever we go as they are very grateful and respectful.

Iniesta, al metro de Japó - Sports&life
Iniesta, al metro de Japó - Sports&life

As for life in Kobe, both my family and I are delighted. At first it's always difficult, because of the language, customs and food, but the children quickly adapted, and Anna and I did too. The proof is that we have extended the family with Romeo, who will experience the first years of his life in Japan. We are very happy to be a family of six.

It is curious that, one year after I came here, Barça are visiting my current city. Without a doubt, it will be a very special game for everyone. It will be strange to have Busi, Jordi Alba and Rakitic in opposition, it will be strange to play against the team of my life and it will be a day of many emotions for me. Hopefully we will all enjoy it, and that the fans of Vissel Kobe have fun watching a great game.

Andrés Iniesta

Força Barça
Força Barça

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