J-League

Andres Iniesta has 'no regrets' over leaving Barcelona

After facing former club Barcelona, Andres Iniesta said he had no complaints about his departure from Camp Nou.

Iniesta has 'no regrets' over leaving Barcelona

Vissel Kobe midfielder Andres Iniesta has "no regrets" over his departure from Barcelona after facing his former team in a friendly.

Iniesta has been at the J.League side since 2018, when he left boyhood club Barça after a trophy-laden 16 seasons at Camp Nou.

The 35-year-old played a half as Vissel Kobe suffered a 2-0 loss to Barça in a friendly on Saturday.

Iniesta said he had no complaints about his departure from Barca, whose win marked their first of pre-season.

"No, no regrets. It's a very strong word to label it as that," he told reporters. I've always said it. If I had felt the desire or the strength to continue playing in Barcelona I would've loved to come here a year later playing for Barca against Vissel, but my moment ended.

"Now, I'm in another place enjoying it in another way. I enjoyed the game, seeing my team-mates, it makes me very happy and I have a nice memory of it."

A second-half brace from 21-year-old forward Carles Perez saw Barcelona to their win.

Asked about facing his former club, Iniesta – who won nine LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other trophies with Barca – said it was unusual.

"It has been a bit strange. Instead of having them as partners, I had to face them," he said. But the truth is that I enjoyed and savoured it. In general the team hasn't performed badly. I'm happy for such a day, it's a special day."