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Iniesta has 'no regrets' over leaving Barcelona

11:09 BST 28/07/2019
Andres Iniesta - cropped
The World Cup winner lined up against former side in a friendly on Saturday and insists he is happy with his decision to leave in 2018

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 Barca 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 Barca 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 La Liga 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."

Barca continue their pre-season fixture list when they take on Arsenal on August 4 ahead of their Liga opener against Athletic Club 12 days later.