Andres Iniesta set to join UAE side Emirates Club

Spanish World Cup winner has reportedly signed a one-year contract and is expected to be revealed as a player on Tuesday

Andres Iniesta has spent the past five years at Japanese club Vissel Kobe and will now ply his trade in the Adnoc Pro League. Getty Images
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Barcelona great Andres Iniesta is set to join Adnoc Pro League side Emirates Club on a reported one-year deal.

Draped in an Emirates Club scarf, Iniesta, 39, was filmed arriving in Dubai with his family where he met club officials and accepted flowers from children in a video posted to the team's social media channels late on Monday night.

According to reports, the former Spain international has agreed a one-year contract with the option of a one-year extension, and is expected to be officially announced as an Emirates Club player on Tuesday.

Iniesta's move to Emirates Club is something of a coup for the Ras Al Khaimah side after the legendary midfielder reportedly turned down the chance to reunite with former Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba at Inter Miami in favour of moving to UAE football.

A press conference is scheduled for Wednesday where Iniesta will be officially presented as an Emirates Club player.

Iniesta, one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, has been a free agent since the start of last month when he left Japanese club Vissel Kobe after five years.

He spent the majority of his career at Barcelona having graduated from their famous La Masia academy, making 674 appearances for the first team and winning 22 major trophies, comprising nine La Liga titles, six Copa del Reys, four Champions Leagues and three Fifa Club World Cups.

Iniesta was also a star for the Spain national team, earning 131 caps and playing a key role in their successive European Championship triumphs in 2008 and 2012 either side of winning the 2010 World Cup.

Upon leaving Vissel Kobe, Iniesta said he had no plans to retire, despite reaching an age and stage of career when most players hang up their boots.

“I want to keep playing football. I feel like I am capable of still playing,” Iniesta said at the end of May during a press conference to announce his exit from the J-League side. “I want to finish my career on the pitch playing."

Emirates Club have returned to the Adnoc Pro League for the coming season after winning promotion from the First Division by finishing runners-up to Hatta.

Updated: August 08, 2023, 2:23 PM