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REVEAL: Why Iniesta refuses to return to Barcelona, staying at Vissel Kobe?

REVEAL: Why Iniesta refuses to return to Barcelona, staying at Vissel Kobe?

The Spanish midfielder revealed that the former club invited him to return in the winter trasfer window, however, he refused that.

Speaking to Spanish media, Andres Iniesta said he refused to return to Barcelona because he did not feel that he was able to play football at the highest level at 35.

However, it was not the main reason for Iniesta, especially when people knew how much money he earned in Japan. Finishing the 2018/19 season with Barcelona, Iniesta surprised football fans by announcing that he would move to Japan to continue his career.

His next destination is Vissel Kobe that recently won the Emperor's Cup and the Japan Super Cup, which helps him appear in the 2020 AFC Champions League.

According to a source of Live Sports Asia, Iniesta's yearly salary at Vissel Kobe was approximately 27 million euros (3.25 billion yen), making him become the highest-paid football player in the J1 League history.

Meanwhile, 'Thai Messi' Chanathip Songkrasin received just 30 million yen a year at Consadole Sapporo. Interestingly, the total amount of salary of Consadole Sapporo players was around 550 million yen.

In other words, Iniesta's earnings in Japan could pay for six J1 League clubs without worrying about financial regulations.

Unlike other teams, Vissel Kobe's owner is Rakuten, one of the largest electronic commerce and online retailing companies in the world, so they afford to sign with world-class players such as Iniesta.