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Andrés Iniesta hints at Barcelona return as coach or sporting director

He says he does not know what role he would get

Kashima Antlers v Vissel Kobe - J.LEAGUE Meiji Yasuda J1 Photo by Hiroki Watanabe/Getty Images

FC Barcelona legend and current Vissel Kobe midfielder Andrés Iniesta has hinted that he will return to his former club after his playing days are over.

“I will continue one more year here (in Japan) and then we will see,” Iniesta said in an interview.

“I would love to return to Barça, it is my home, but I still don’t know in what capacity: coach, sporting director, or something like that. In any case, the first thing I have to do is train and, for now, I still see myself as a player. It’s nice to think that someone who has been and given so much to a club can continue to do so even if he stops playing, but the right conditions must be met for this. You can’t say ‘I’m not going to do anything, but let me come back.’”

The 38-year-old midfielder is in his fifth season with Vissel Kobe after an illustrious career with Barcelona as his only European club. He also famously scored the winning goal for Spain in the 2010 FIFA World cup.

He also spoke about Barcelona’s upcoming UEFA Champions League match against Inter Milan: “It is vital that Barça win to stay alive in the competition. It is a crucial match. Inter have a great team. and it will be difficult for Barcelona. I hope that Barça takes the initiative and that Inter wait for their options, even considering that in theory a draw could suit them. The Champions League is a competition where details matter, if you make a mistake you pay for it, but Barça have a great opportunity to come back. And I hope they succeed.”

Finally, the former Barcelona captain gave his opinion on the team’s current midfielders, which includes his former mate Sergio Busquets amongst two young stars.

“Sergio’s career is one of the best in the history of football,” Iniesta said.

“Gavi and Pedri have at their side someone from whom they can learn a lot, who can support them, and help them grow on and off the pitch. They are two very young boys who have a great present and a spectacular future. Gavi and Pedri play very naturally, with ease, I don’t think they feel the pressure. Rather, it is those outside the club who would do well to leave them alone. It’s clear that they have to perform, as Xavi and I did. They carry football inside, you don’t see the, suffer on the field or shy away from responsibility. You can see that they enjoy it, and that is something that comes from within: either you have it or you don’t.”

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