News Analysis |
On Sunday, 1st July, 2018, Spain battled against Russia head to head until Russia knocked Spain with a 4-3 on penalties out of the FIFA World Cup 2018. Spanish footballer, Andres Iniesta, the celebrated midfielder announced his retirement from international football.
This news was confirmed at the hands of international media, hours after the world cup clash between Russia and Spain. Cheering his team at the beginning, Iniesta wasn’t a part of the line up in the first half of the match played at Luzhniki stadium, Moscow. He graced the field in the second half as the match was tied down with a 1-1.
Expecting to leave the team on a higher note, the Spanish player disheartened yet at peace with his career finally entered his retirement after 16 seasons in Barcelona. Joining Barcelona in 1996, Iniesta became one of the FC Barcelona’s and Spain’s greatest ever players. Peaking several times in his career, this Albacete-born player picked up 29 club and international team titles throughout his football playing career.
His fans can never forget the commendable efforts put forward by him in World Cup, European Championships, FIFA World Clubs, Champion Leagues, La Liga; Spanish football league, European Super Cups, and Spanish Super Cups. Notably, Iniesta had already announced his retirement from the Barcelona team earlier this year. In April, Iniesta had announced that he would bid adieu to Barcelona at the end of this season, thus ending his 22-year-long association with the Camp Nou.
Scoring the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final, Iniesta played his last match for the Spanish club against Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou. Earlier reports had said that post FIFA World Cup, Iniesta would not be staying in Europe and would move to Japan to join football club, Vissel Kobe. He appeared before a packed news conference at a central Tokyo hotel on Thursday along with Kobe’s billionaire owner, Hiroshi Mikitani.
Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of the Barcelona sponsor Rakuten, a Japanese online retailer watched as Iniesta signed his contract and then spoke through an interpreter. As disclosed by Japanese media, reports are that Iniesta will earn $30 annually on a three-year deal which is described by Iniesta as a “very special deal”.
“This World Cup could be my last appearance but, once it’s over, everything will be analyzed. I will start in Japan and we’ll see the circumstances“, said- Iniesta.