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Iniesta registers arrival in Japanese league with goal

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Andre Iniesta to earn a record $30m in JapanSpanish football star Andres Iniesta (R) and Hiroshi Mikitani, owner of Rakuten and Vissel Kobe club, hold the team’s jersey during a press conference in Tokyo. Photo AFP

(Reuters/NAN) Former FC Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta scored his first goal for J League side Vissel Kobe in their 2-1 victory over Jubilo Iwata on Saturday.

The great Spanish midfielder, now in Japan after an illustrious career with boyhood club Barca, scored a sensational goal to open his account, assisted by former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski.

The German slid the ball through to Iniesta in the penalty area and the 34-year-old displayed all his trademark intelligence to pirouette past an Iwata defender.

He then rounded the goalkeeper to roll the ball into the net.

Iniesta’s goal opened the scoring in the 16th minute and a further goal from forward Kyogo Furuhashi secured the victory.

Kobe moved up to fourth place as they look to close the gap on leaders Hiroshima Sanfreece, who beat Nagasaki to maintain an eight-point lead over Tokyo FC in second.

Iniesta’s former Spain team mate Fernando Torres failed to open his account for Sagan Tosu.

However, his struggling team did secure a 1-0 victory over Urawa Red Diamonds in their battle against relegation.

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