According to SPORT, Andres Iniesta has been blocked from playing for FC Barcelona this week by his current club, Vissel Kobe.
Barcelona is currently on their way to the Far East for a friendly match against J-League team Vissel Kobe at the National Stadium in Tokyo.
Fans had been eagerly anticipating the possibility of seeing Barcelona’s legendary midfield trio from the late 2000s to mid-2010s, consisting of Sergio Busquets, Iniesta, and current Barca coach Xavi Hernandez, reunited on the field.
Together, the trio achieved great success, winning three Champions League titles along with the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 Euros with the Spanish national team.
There were suggestions that, for old time’s sake, Iniesta could play one half for Vissel Kobe and the other half for Barcelona, an idea that Iniesta himself seemed interested in when he appeared in a video with Busquets.
However, any hopes of the three players lining up together were shattered when Busquets announced that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season and subsequently decided not to travel to Japan.
Still, it would have been a significant experience for Iniesta to play alongside the likes of Gavi and Frenkie de Jong in Barcelona’s midfield, especially for the young talents.
Ultimately, the decision lies with Vissel Kobe, the club Iniesta will depart from after playing his final match for them on July 1. According to SPORT, Vissel Kobe wants their star player to feature solely in their colors due to the “great media impact” the match will have in Japan, as they aim to showcase him as their main attraction.
During the summer, Iniesta will need to decide on his next destination, considering offers from the United States and Saudi Arabia.
In the Middle East, there is a possibility of Iniesta joining Busquets and Lionel Messi at Al-Hilal. Although Messi’s father and agent, as well as Busquets, have denied this, El Chiringuito reported that Messi, Busquets, and Jordi Alba have all accepted proposals from Al-Hilal.
Messi is expected to make a decision regarding his future soon, with SPORT reporting that Al-Hilal hopes to unveil him as their newest signing on June 6.