Former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta said on Monday that he was still adapting to Japanese football and J-League club Vissel Kobe, which he joined in July, and admitted the team is not in its best phase. Iniesta is not the only former world cup winner in the team- former Arsenal star, Lukas Podolski is also plying his trade with Vissel Kobe. Also Read - Football Transfer: Luis Suarez Leaves Barcelona For Atletico Madrid
At a promotional event, the midfield maestro took stock of his first few months in the J-League, in which his team has been faring badly despite the high expectations his arrival had generated, reports Efe. Also Read - Barcelona Coach Ronald Koeman Insists There's No Dispute With Lionel Messi
“My goal in this new season is to help the team reach a champion level, but all changes are difficult and require a process of adaptation,” Iniesta said during the event organized by a Japanese sportswear brand, with whom he has a sponsorship deal. Also Read - Memphis Depay All Set to Join Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona, Announcement Expected This Week: Report
Iniesta said his experience in Japan so far had been great thanks to the love he had received from the locals and added that he hoped to be able to respond to that on the field.
Since his arrival, Iniesta has played in nine matches and scored two goals for his team, which is currently placed 11th in the J-League, days before the competition draws to a close.
The player added that the team wanted to win all the four matches it had left in the tournament.
Vissel Kobe have a seven-match losing streak which, coupled with bad play by the team, led to the sacking of coach Takayuki Yoshida, who was replaced by Spaniard Juan Manuel Lillo at the end of September.
“Right now, we are not going through the best phase, but I am convinced that the good times will come,” said Iniesta, who added that his best memory in Japan so far is his first goal for Vissel Kobe in August against Jubilo Iwata.
When asked by Japanese media what he liked most about the country, Iniesta said he enjoyed the culture and local cuisines of the cities of Osaka, Nara and Kyoto, where he has traveled with his family.