Issued by: Change:
Former Barcelona star Andres Iniesta has vowed not to cut his shiny career short with the thigh injury he suffered in front of him for four months on the sidelines.
The World Cup-winning Spanish midfielder, 36, said he was scheduled to be back for his Japanese club Vissel Kobe next season after undergoing surgery in Barcelona on a broken tendon.
Iniesta was injured in the sluggish stages of the Asian Champions League, where he helped Vissel reach the semi-finals before being beaten on Sunday.
“The surgery has been a success and I feel very well,” Iniesta said in a statement posted on Twitter, with a photo of himself removing the toes from his hospital bed.
“My goal is to get back on track as quickly as possible and enjoy the things I love to do.
“All my energy is already invested in the recovery and the work ahead.”
The Spanish maestro was injured and replaced when Vissel won a round-of-16 over Shanghai SIPG in Doha, a game in which he scored.
He described the appearance of a cameo in the quarter-final against Suwon Bluewings of South Korea, coming on as a 113-minute substitute and getting Vissel’s first penalty in a 7- victory. 6 in loss.
Iniesta shook his thigh and scorned immediately after giving his kick to Suwon keeper Yang Sang-min, and did not appear in a 2-1 semi-final loss at Vissel with Ulsan Hyundai three days later.
Iniesta joined Vissel in 2018 after making 442 appearances for Barcelona, where he was a midfield dynamo in some of the biggest teams ever.
Barcelona wished Iniesta a speedy recovery in a Twitter post on Wednesday, as did Albacete’s Spanish side, where Iniesta began her youthful career.
Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol, a six-time NBA All-Star and winner of two Olympic silver medals with the Spanish national team, also sent a message of encouragement.
Vissel will end their 2020 season on Saturday with their last J-League game against FC Tokyo. The 2021 J-League season begins with the Super Cup picking up curtains on February 20th.
Iniesta was a key player in the tribal side of Barcelona in 2009 and 2015. He won nine La Liga crowns and four European Champions League titles, and won the trophy in the 2010 World Cup final in Africa. Ready to give Spain its first ever title. .
© 2020 AFP