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Tokyo: Spain’s 2010 World Cup-winning hero Andrés Iniesta will leave Japan’s Vissel Kobe at the start of July.

“We say a heartfelt thank you for the five years he has spent here,” the J-League leaders said in a statement on Thursday.

Whether the 39-year-old former Barcelona midfielder will retire is unknown.

“It’s a very emotional day after so many years,” Iniesta told a news conference. “I tried to give my best on and off the pitch. I am very proud of that.” He has mainly been a substitute at Kobe since the start of the year. (dpa)

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