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FC Tokyo to hire Andres Iniesta impersonator

Japanese J1 League
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Samper confirms Barcelona departure after 18 years, joins Vissel Kobe

Shaka Hislop's power rankings are back and while Tottenham may have fallen out of his top 10, there's an all too familiar face atop his rankings.

BARCELONA, Spain -- Sergi Samper has confirmed that he will sign for Japanese club Vissel Kobe after his Barcelona contract was cancelled, ending an 18-year stay.

Samper, who made one Barca appearance this season, said his desire to play regular football again was the main reason behind his decision to move to Japan at the age of 24.

The midfielder said former Barca captain Andres Iniesta, who signed for Vissel Kobe last summer, had played a key role in convincing him to join the J-League club.

"I...

Japan's Tatsuma Yoshida in line to succeed Fandi Ahmad as Singapore boss - sources

Tatsuma Yoshida
Tatsuma Yoshida was most recently in charge of J-League side Ventforet Kofu.

Former J-League manager Tatsuma Yoshida is in line to be appointed as next coach of the Singapore national team, sources have told ESPN.

The Lions have been without a boss since they were eliminated from the group stage of the AFF Cup in November. Despite calls for caretaker coach Fandi Ahmad to be given the job on a permanent basis, the former striker was never in the running.

Lim Kia Tong, president of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), made it clear from December that he was looking...

Barcelona legend Iniesta: I struggled to adapt after joining Vissel Kobe

With Real Madrid back in the picture, the ESPN FC crew assess the chances Barcelona will relinquish their six-point advantage.
Barcelona were held scoreless in Bilbao, but still lead second-place Real Madrid by six points atop the La Liga table.

Andres Iniesta has said he and his family struggled to adapt after swapping Barcelona for Vissel Kobe but they are finally beginning to feel settled in Japan.

Iniesta, 34, left Spain for the Japanese side after last summer's World Cup and said it has been difficult to get used to the cultural differences between the two countries.

"I have to confess that the adaption process has not been easy during my first six months in Japan, in sporting and in family terms," he wrote in Esquire ahead of...

Kazuyoshi Miura signs new Yokohama contract at age of 51

Kazuyoshi Miura of Yokohama FC
Kazuyoshi Miura is the oldest professional player to have scored a goal.

Kazuyoshi Miura, who was playing in the J-League when Gary Lineker and Zico were in Japan, has signed a new one-year contract with Yokohama FC at the age of 51.

Former Japan international forward Miura will play for the second-tier club throughout the 2019 season, the J-League announced.

"I updated the contract for the 2019 season," Miura said after signing the deal. "Thanks to everyone who always supports me."

In 1993 he played for Tokyo Verdy in the inaugural J-League season, helping them win...

Ange Postecoglou's Yokohama F Marinos avoid J.League relegation

Ex-Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou's Yokohama F Marinos have narrowly avoided a relegation playoff to remain in Japan's top flight.

Yokohama lost 2-1 at home to Cerezo Osaka on the final day of the J.League season, but other results went their way as they finished 12th in the 18-team competition.

They finished on 41 points with four other teams, including 16th-placed Jubilo Iwata who will face Yokohama FC or Tokyo Verdy for the chance to stay in the top division next season.

In his first year in...