Andres Iniesta insists there are “no regrets” over his Barcelona exit following Saturday’s showdown with Vissel Kobe in Japan.
One year on from his heartbreaking Camp Nou departure, Iniesta came face-to-face with his old Barcelona team-mates in a friendly for Vissel Kobe.
The 35-year-old started in Misaki Park down the left side of the midfield for the encounter. He even tested Blaugrana goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen five minutes before the break during a rare moment of attack from Vissel Kobe.
Ultimately, though, Iniesta couldn’t help the Japanese club break the deadlock against his beloved Barcelona. With the scoreline goalless, he made way for Takuya Yasui during half-time as part of manager Thorsten Fink’s several changes to his line-up.
21-year-old winger Carles Perez then gave Barcelona a deserved lead in the second-half before firing in a second into the bottom right corner to seal a 2-0 victory.
Nevertheless, Iniesta harbours no regrets and enjoyed the experience of taking on Barcelona.
“No, no regrets. It’s a very strong word to label it like that,” said Iniesta, according to Yahoo.
“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.”
Although Iniesta, who made 669 appearances and won 30 trophies during his 22-year Barcelona career, conceded it was an unusual feeling to face the Catalan club.
“It has been a bit strange. Instead of having them as partners, I had to face them,” admitted the Spaniard.
“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.”