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FC Tokyo to hire Andres Iniesta impersonator

Japanese J1 League
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Barcelona legend Iniesta: I struggled to adapt after joining Vissel Kobe

Andres Iniesta played a picture-perfect pass for Lukas Podolski to slam home in Vissel Kobe's J-League victory over Nagoya.
With Real Madrid back in the picture, the ESPN FC crew assess the chances Barcelona will relinquish their six-point advantage.
Barcelona were held scoreless in Bilbao, but still lead second-place Real Madrid by six points atop the La Liga table.

Andres Iniesta has said he and his family struggled to adapt after swapping Barcelona for Vissel Kobe but they are finally beginning to feel settled in Japan.

Iniesta, 34, left Spain for the Japanese side after last summer's World Cup and said it has been difficult to get used to the cultural differences between the two countries.

"I have to confess that the adaption process has not been easy during my first six months in Japan, in sporting and in family terms," he wrote in Esquire ahead of...

Kazuyoshi Miura signs new Yokohama contract at age of 51

Kazuyoshi Miura of Yokohama FC
Kazuyoshi Miura is the oldest professional player to have scored a goal.

Kazuyoshi Miura, who was playing in the J-League when Gary Lineker and Zico were in Japan, has signed a new one-year contract with Yokohama FC at the age of 51.

Former Japan international forward Miura will play for the second-tier club throughout the 2019 season, the J-League announced.

"I updated the contract for the 2019 season," Miura said after signing the deal. "Thanks to everyone who always supports me."

In 1993 he played for Tokyo Verdy in the inaugural J-League season, helping them win...

Ange Postecoglou's Yokohama F Marinos avoid J.League relegation

Ex-Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou's Yokohama F Marinos have narrowly avoided a relegation playoff to remain in Japan's top flight.

Yokohama lost 2-1 at home to Cerezo Osaka on the final day of the J.League season, but other results went their way as they finished 12th in the 18-team competition.

They finished on 41 points with four other teams, including 16th-placed Jubilo Iwata who will face Yokohama FC or Tokyo Verdy for the chance to stay in the top division next season.

In his first year in...

David Villa to join Andres Iniesta at Vissel Kobe after leaving New York City FC

Steve Nicol reflects on the impact David Villa has had on Major League Soccer after announcing his departure from NYCFC after four seasons.
David Villa announces he is ready for another challenge as he bids farewell to New York City FC.

David Villa has revealed that he will be joining up with former Spain teammate Andres Iniesta in Japan at Vissel Kobe, after leaving New York City FC.

Villa, 36, departs MLS after scoring 80 goals in 124  appearances for NYCFC. He paid tribute to everyone associated with the franchise, as well as to the team's fans in a video on YouTube last week as he said his goodbyes.

Vissel Kobe chairman Hiroshi Mikitani said: "We are pursuing a new style of play and after talking with the...

Kawasaki Frontale win back-to-back J.League titles after Sanfrecce Hiroshima collapse

Kawasaki Frontale clinched a second successive J.League title despite defeat to Cerezo Osaka.

Kawasaki Frontale retained the J.League title despite losing 2-1 to Cerezo Osaka on Saturday, the visitors clinching a second top-flight championship when nearest rivals Sanfrecce Hiroshima completed a stunning collapse with another defeat.

Osaka striker Kazuya Yamamura scored the winner in the fourth minute of injury time, but with Hiroshima falling to a 1-0 home defeat to Vegalta Sendai, Toru Oniki's team secured the title with two games to spare.

After Saturday's fixtures, Kawasaki hold an unassailable...