Andrés Iniesta enters his new home stadium in Kobe, Japan.

Andrés Iniesta enters his new home stadium in Kobe, Japan. | VISSEL KOBE

Andrés Iniesta, just days after saying farewell to FC Barcelona in multiple ceremonies at Camp Nou, said hello to the fans of his new team, Vissel Kobe, at a special event held at the Noevir Stadium Kobe in the eponymous Japanese city he will now call home.

At an event attended by some 8,000 people on Saturday, Iniesta was serenaded to the max by his new team.

Fans held up signs reading “Welcome! Andrés Iniesta” and “A Magician Lands in Kobe,” among others.

Iniesta, who will wear the same number 8 he wore for 16 seasons with Barça’s first team, waved to his new fans and took the microphone to speak to them.

“Thank you so much for the warm welcome,” he said. “In the two days I have been in Japan I’ve received plenty of affection, and I would like to thank you for it.”

“I’m very excited to be here, to learn, and to work hard,” Iniesta continued. “My goal is to help Vissel to continue improving, with the highest of aspirations.”

Iniesta, however, will have to wait to make is debut with Vissel Kobe. The Japanese J1 League is already underway, but Iniesta has been summoned by the Spanish National Team to begin training for this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, which opens on June 14.

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