Andres Iniesta of Vissel Kobe wishes to return to FC Barcelona

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Former FC Barcelona midfielder, Andres Iniesta has admitted that he wished to return to the Spanish La Liga giants after his professional football career.

The 37-year-old Spanish midfielder is currently playing for a Japanese side Vissel Kobe where he reportedly earns a whopping $35 million per season.

Andres Iniesta joined the Japanese club on July 1, 2018, from FC Barcelona where he spent 25 years of his life playing for the club’s football academy and the club’s senior team.

Vissel Kobe just offered Iniesta an additional two years contract which means that the 2010 FIFA World Cup winner will remain in Japan until January 31, 2024. By then, he would be almost 40-year-old and might be considering retirement.

When he retires, Andres Iniesta who has helped Vissel Kobe to win the 2019 Emperor’s Cup and the 2020 Japanese Super Cup, plans to remain in the football business.

Football authorities in Japan have already established training centers in Japan bearing his name but that might not tempt him to remain in the Asian country after his football career.

In an interview with BBC, Andres Iniesta who provided 138 assists and scored 57 goals in 674 games while at FC Barcelona said he wished to return to the club but he was not sure of the capacity in which he would return.

The 37-year-old midfielder who won at least 33 titles while at FC Barcelona including four UEFA Champions League titles and 9 La Liga titles said he would get a coaching license after retirement but he might not use it.

When BBC asked him whether he would return to FC Barcelona, Andres Iniesta said: “Yes, it is something I wish. I would like it to happen because more than anything it is the club I spent so many years in.

“You don’t know what will happen in the future, you don’t know in what way I could return or who will be the people in charge at a certain moment.

“So there are many factors which make it hard to see what will really happen, but if you ask me if I would like to, the answer is yes.”

Andres Iniesta refused to condemn Ronald Koeman’s FC Barcelona

Andres Iniesta refused to condemn Ronald Koeman's FC Barcelona
Andres Iniesta in action for Vissel Kobe.

Since Andres Iniesta and most of those in his era left FC Barcelona, the Spanish club has been a shadow of its former self.

Things got worse ahead of the 2021-2022 season when the club’s talisman Lionel Messi left the club for Paris Saint Germain in August 2021.

So far this season, FC Barcelona have recorded two defeats in the UEFA Champions League. They are currently sitting on the 6th spot on La Liga’s table with 12 points in 6 games after recording 3 draws and 3 wins.

Despite such poor stats, Andres Iniesta has insisted that he would not talk bad about the current FC Barcelona’s squad. The Spanish football icon noted that even though the players at the club have changed, the club still has a “concept”.

“I will always see Barcelona in a good way because I still see a different team,” he said. “Many things have changed since then. Naturally, the players are different but there is still an idea, a concept.

“Sometimes there will be good times and sometimes there will be worse times like it has always been, but personally I don’t like comparing too much.”