Iniesta guides Vissel Kobe to first trophy in Villa's final match

Wednesday01 January 2020 | 12:15
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David Villa appeared only fleetingly in his final match but went out a winner with Vissel Kobe alongside Andres Iniesta.

Andres Iniesta captained Vissel Kobe to their first trophy with a 2-0 Emperor's Cup final win over Kashima Antlers as team-mate David Villa retired.

Vissel, formed in 1966 and moved to Kobe in 1995, have built a star-studded squad in a bid to end their wait for silverware, with former Barcelona stars Iniesta, Villa and Thomas Vermaelen featuring alongside Lukas Podolski.

Wednesday's showpiece marked the opening of Tokyo's New National Stad‫ium but the end of Villa's glittering career.

The World Cup winner announced in November he would be retiring at the end of the year, and he was restricted to a late substitute appearance, replacing Podolski in stoppage time.

Villa, who had been dealing with injury issues in the final weeks of his career, said: "I am very happy to be able to stand on the pitch at the end and be very happy."

Iniesta was influential in the victory, yet the goals arrived in scrappy fashion, an own goal from Tomoya Inukai followed by a fortunate deflection for Noriaki Fujimoto.

source: SportMob