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BREAKING NEWS: Iniesta's Vissel Kobe move confirmed

Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta's move to J.League club Vissel Kobe was confirmed on Thursday at a specially arranged news conference in Tokyo.

Iniesta, 34, played his final game for Barcelona in Sunday's 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad, leaving LaLiga's champions after 16 trophy-laden seasons.

The star playmaker was heavily linked with a move to the Chinese Super League – Chongqing Lifan were widely viewed as the frontrunners - and Australia was also mooted as a possible destination.

But Vissel Kobe, whose club chairman Hiroshi Mikitani is also the chief executive of Japanese electronics company and Barcelona shirt sponsor Rakuten, have got their man.

"Iniesta is a top global player. Many of us here today remember Iniesta's astounding goal in the final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa," Mikitani told reporters ahead of Iniesta's presentation.

"We hope that he can contribute to our next generation of players. 

"Also, giving fans the chance to watch Iniesta's playing style we think will not just have a huge impact on Vissel Kobe but also on football in Japan and Asia.

"He will help us achieve our goal of becoming the number one club in Asia.

"He also has a huge social media profile and his presence here will help to promote Japanese football and the J.League worldwide."