Legendary Barcelona striker Andres Iniesta is set to be relegated with Vissel Kobe to the second division of the Japanese league.
Iniesta, who is in his fifth season at Misaki Park Stadium after joining in 2018, is Vissel Kobe’s current captain.
Since arriving from Barcelona four years ago, the 38-year-old has scored 26 goals in 126 games and helped the club win the Emperor’s Cup – Japan’s equivalent of the FA Cup – as well as the Super Japan Cup.
These trophies are the only pieces of silverware Vissel Kobe have claimed in their 56-year history.
But his love affair at Kobe could soon change with Vissel falling to the bottom three of the J1 League with nine games to go.
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They currently sit in 16th place which would see them enter a play-off against the J2 playoff winning side for the chance to play J1 football.
Vissel sits just two points clear of 18th place, having won just one of their last four games.
They have just been eliminated from the AFC Champions League in the quarter-finals by South Korean Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
Iniesta hasn’t featured in any games in Asia’s premier competition this season due to repeated injuries.
He was on the bench for the round of 16 win over Yokohama last week but was omitted from the squad which lost 3-1 to Jeonbuk on Monday.
Despite being hampered by injuries in 2022, Iniesta has still contributed with three goals and as many assists in 25 games in all competitions.
Iniesta, who is tied to Vissel Kobe until 2024, now hopes his former Blaugrana teammates Bojan and Sergi Semper will help Vissel avoid humiliating relegation after finishing third last season.
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