Could Iniesta’s career be over after injury blow?

David Lynch
David Lynch
  • Updated: 17 May 2021 21:23 BST
  • 1 min read
Could Iniesta’s career be over after injury blow?

Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta’s career has been cast into doubt following surgery on a thigh injury.

The Spaniard sustained the issue during Vissel Kobe’s victory over Suwon Bluewings in the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League last week.

And it has now been confirmed that the midfielder’s season has been ended after he was forced to go under the knife, with a four-month absence expected.

That would leave Iniesta sidelined until April, meaning he would miss a large part of the new J-League campaign.

It is also unclear whether the three-year contract he signed with Vissel Kobe in May 2018 expires before the end of next season.

Unlike in Europe, the Japanese football calendar runs from the start of each year to its end.

Should Iniesta’s deal run for exactly three years, he could be forced to call time on his playing career as a result of this injury blow.

That would likely prompt a return to Barcelona for the 36-year-old, who signed a lifetime contract a year prior to a move to Japan that was reportedly part-funded by the Catalan giants’ shirt sponsors Rakuten.

Iniesta won nine La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues during a 16-year stint in the Barca first team.

He also scored the winning goal in the World Cup final in that time, leading Spain to success in South Africa in 2010.