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Iniesta could continue Spain career beyond World Cup

22:16 EAT 05/06/2018
AndresIniestaCropped
The midfielder says he has not ruled out the possibility of extending his international career, despite his move to Japan

Andres Iniesta will not rule out continuing his Spain career beyond the World Cup, even if it could be "difficult" after leaving Europe.

Barcelona great Iniesta is departing Camp Nou for Japan this off-season, signing for Vissel Kobe after a glittering European career.

The veteran midfielder will first turn out for Spain at the World Cup in Russia, but he has not yet made a decision on his international future after the tournament.

Iniesta, 34, told reporters at Spain's media day: "This World Cup could be my last appearance but, once it's over, everything will be analysed. I will start in Japan and we'll see the circumstances.

"I do not rule out continuing, but I know it is difficult once I leave Barcelona. It would be a little difficult for me to continue here but, once the World Cup is over, we'll look at everything.

Regardless of any continuing international career, this will be Iniesta's last World Cup.

But the man who netted the winner in the 2010 final against Netherlands is trying not to let that impact his performances, adding: "That it's my last one makes it special and different.

"I try not to have the last World Cup in my head, but to face it as if it were the first - or what it is: a very nice challenge.

"I do not get tired from the goodbyes, I just try to enjoy every moment. I try to taste it because, after so much time, it is still exciting to live these moments."

Iniesta was also presented with the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sports Merit, the highest honour in Spanish sport, by new prime minister Pedro Sanchez.