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J. League club Vissel Kobe on Thursday announced the audacious signing of World Cup-winning former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta in a deal reported to be worth over ¥3 billion a year.

“This is a very special day for me,” the 34-year-old Iniesta, who played his 669th and final game for Barcelona last Sunday, told a news conference in Tokyo attended by more than 300 reporters. “It’s an important challenge for my career.

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