Juan Mata 'is set for Japan move after rejecting Saudi offers' as former Man United and Chelsea star follows in Andres Iniesta's footsteps to join Vissel Kobe
- Mata, 35, has chosen to reject Saudi offers to make a move to Japanese league
- He follows in compatriot Andres Iniesta's footsteps with the move to Vissel Kobe
- Iniesta left the J-League side to join UAE club, Emirates on a free transfer
Juan Mata, the 35-year-old World Cup-winning midfielder, has chosen a move to Japanese club Vissel Kobe, according to The Athletic.
Mata most recently spent a season at Turkish Super Lig side, Galatasaray.
The midfielder received tempting offers from Saudi Arabia and Dubai, but has decided to embrace the J-League and explore life in Japan while aiming for fresh titles.
His fellow former international teammate, Andres Iniesta made the same move in 2018, spending five years at the J-League side.
Iniesta made over 130 appearances for Vissel Kobe and scored 26 goals.
Long-serving Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata announced he was leaving in 2022
Chelsea's Fernando Torres (right) and Juan Mata (left) pose with the Champions League and Europa League trophy from 2012 and 2013 as they celebrated with the west London club
Juan Mata and Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United console Anthony Elanga after missing a penalty shot during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match against Middlesborough
He then moved to the Emirates club in the UAE on a free transfer, who are currently ranked 11th in the Arabian Gulf League.
Another compatriot, David Villa, also enjoyed a year in Japan in 2019.
Mata began his senior career at Real Madrid in 2006, and went on to join the Premier League in 2011 after a three-year stint at Chelsea, before transferring to Manchester United.
With Chelsea, he helped the team win the Champions League and FA Cup in 2012, as well as the Europa League a year later.
After moving to Manchester United, he joined Louis Van Gaal's side for a record fee of £37.1million.
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