Barcelona Beat Ex-Star Iniesta’s Kobe In Pre-Season Friendly

Channels Television  
Updated July 27, 2019
FC Barcelona’s forward Carles Perez (C, #7) celebrates his goal with teammates during the Rakuten Cup football match between Vissel Kobe and FC Barcelona, in Kobe on July 27, 2019.
Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP


Carles Perez scored his first two goals for Barcelona as the Spanish giants won 2-0 against a Vissel Kobe side featuring Andres Iniesta, a legend of the Catalan club.

As Kobe’s Iniesta, David Villa and Sergi Samper were all reunited with their former team, it was Perez who stole the limelight with a top-class double.

The 21-year-old, a product of Barcelona’s academy, played a one-two inside the box and nutmegged the goalkeeper for his first goal, and fired a stunning left-footer for his second in the dying minutes.

Iniesta had his chances and 28,000 fans sighed their frustration as he put a fierce shot just wide.

“It was my first goal for Barcelona and I’m glad to score even two,” Perez said.

READ ALSO: Vermaelen Joins Japanese Side Vissel Kobe

“It’s been my dream to score goals for this great team since my childhood,” he added.

Iniesta said: “I am glad Barcelona were able to come here and play. It was a good game honestly as we played well.”

The World Cup-winner, who lifted 32 major trophies with Barcelona, signed for Kobe last May in a deal worth a reported $30 million a year. Iniesta, 34, became team captain in April.

Kobe also announced the signing of Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen, after the 33-year-old reportedly turned down an offer to join countryman Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht.

Saturday’s win wrapped up Barcelona’s pre-season friendlies in Japan following their 2-1 loss to Chelsea earlier this week.

World Cup-winning French striker Antoine Griezmann and former Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who both made their unofficial debuts in the Chelsea match, played again on Saturday with no goals.