Iniesta welcomed by thousands of fans at Vissel Kobe presentation

Vissel Kobe fans were given their first sighting of Andres Iniesta as 8,000 supporters flocked to the Barcelona great’s presentation.

Andres Iniesta walked out at Vissel Kobe’s Noevir Stadium for the first time on Saturday, two days on from signing for the J.League side.

Spain and Barcelona great Iniesta signed a contract at a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday, with his terms reported to be for three years.

The 34-year-old’s presentation at the home of his new club – 326 miles south west of the Japanese capital – was attended by around 8,000 fans, many holding banners bearing the “Infinit Iniesta” slogan used by Barcelona during the playmaker’s Camp Nou farewell.

“Thanks for such a warm welcome. In these two days I have spent in Japan I have been shown so much affection and I am very grateful,” Iniesta said.

“I’m looking forward to working hard, learning, helping Vissel improve and helping the club to [win] the Japanese league and the Asian Champions League.”

Vissel lie sixth in the J.League standings and will resume their top-flight campaign after the World Cup at V-Varen Nagasaki on July 18.

Iniesta, who scored the winning goal against Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup final, will now join up with Julen Lopetegui’s Spain squad for Russia 2018.