• Kyodo

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While some European clubs have targeted Asian players in the hope of capturing lucrative overseas markets, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says the Spanish champion acquired Hiroki Abe for purely sporting reasons.

Bartomeu, whose side practiced Friday on the eve of a friendly against the J. League’s Vissel Kobe, said it recruited Abe to its reserve team with a view to him eventually becoming a leading player in La Liga.

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