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  • Writer's pictureLeo Grebot

Vissel Kobe's last race - Remembering his greatest triumphs.

Updated: Mar 23

Andrés Iniesta, retired against FC Barcelona Copyright: © MIGUEL RUIZ
Image Copyright: © Miguel Ruiz

Those who have followed football over the last two decades will surely know Andrés Iniesta. This talented Spanish midfielder, who was once the driving force of Barcelona and the Spanish national team, spent the last years of his career at Vissel Kobe in Japan. I had the opportunity to represent Andrés Iniesta's wines in Mexico so Don Iniesta will always be for me more than a soccer player, a good friend who loves good wine and Kobe beef.

Who could forget the moment when Iniesta scored the goal that led Spain to win the World Cup in 2010? Throughout his career, Iniesta won numerous titles, including one time UEFA Best Player in Europe, one time Footballer of the Year, one time Player of the Year, one World Cup, two European Championships, four times the Champions League. , three times the FIFA Club World Cup, nine Spanish championships, three UEFA Super Cups, six Spanish Cups, seven Spanish Super Cups, one Under-19 European Championship and one Under-17 European Championship.

In the summer of 2018, Iniesta surprised the football world by moving to Japan to play for Vissel Kobe. And while some might have thought Iniesta was quietly retiring, they couldn't have been more wrong.

Iniesta scored his first goal for Vissel Kobe in a match against Júbilo Iwata. It was a brilliant performance, in which Iniesta showed his incredible ability to move with the ball and finish. And that was just the beginning of what Iniesta would do in Kobe.

Under Iniesta's leadership, Vissel Kobe won its first trophy in its history, the Emperor's Cup, in 2020. In the final match, Iniesta helped lead Vissel Kobe to a 2-0 victory over the Kashima Antlers. It was a historic moment for the club and a testament to the impact Iniesta was having.

The following season, Iniesta led Vissel Kobe to the group stage of the Asian Champions League, further evidence of the team's growing strength. Even in the latter part of his career, Iniesta showed time and time again that he was still a player to be reckoned with.

After all this, Iniesta extended his contract with Vissel Kobe for another two years in 2021, reaffirming his commitment to the club. Even though he was 37 years old at the time, Iniesta still showed incredible ability on the field, and it was clear that he still had a lot to offer.

Even as he neared the end of his career, Iniesta remained a crucial player for Vissel Kobe, and his skill, experience and leadership were invaluable to the team. His time at Vissel Kobe has not only given the team its first trophy but has also raised the profile of Japanese football.

Iniesta has never been just a player. He has always been a leader, a visionary and an icon. Although his time at Vissel Kobe has come to an end, the impact he has had on the club, and Japanese football in general, will surely be remembered for a long time.

So here we are, remembering Andrés Iniesta's incredible career at Vissel Kobe. And although Iniesta has retired from the field, his legacy will live on. Thanks for the memories, Andrés. Thank you for your magic on the court. And above all, thank you for showing us once again that true football is a combination of skill, passion and heart.

Iniesta's latest career has been exciting, moving and memorable. Like Iniesta himself. A true football icon, on and off the field. Thanks for everything, Andrés Iniesta. You are, and always will be, one of the greatest.

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