Andres Iniesta is widely considered one of the best midfielders of his generation. After leaving the club in 2018, the Barcelona legend has moved to Japan and is the face of the championship. Let’s have a look at his main source of income.
Extension of Contract
Iniesta has extended his contract with the Japanese club, Vissel Kobe, until 2023. By the time the agreement expires, he will be 39 years old. It was no coincidence that the Spaniard chose such a career finale. First, he was offered good money – $30 million a year. Secondly, there is a business plan to promote his brand in conjunction with the club’s brand – the scheme is beneficial for both participants.
Iniesta is a Face of the Club
Vissel Kobe signed Iniesta in 2018 ahead of Chongqing Lifan. The club has dissolved recently. Club president and CEO of Rakuten owner Hiroshi Mikitani was jubilant: he had to put in a lot of effort to ensure that the finale of the career of the star Spaniard happened in his team, and not somewhere in China. The entrepreneur understood that Iniesta was a valuable marketing asset, through which he could successfully advance and earn a lot.
With the arrival of Iniesta, an exclusive documentary series about the life of a Spaniard in Japan began to be released on the Rakuten Viki platform. Later, when the streaming service Rakuten Sports was launched, Iniesta content moved there – there is a separate Iniesta TV tab for it with nine channels and content is released monthly.
His influence is also visible in the Japanese gambling industry. A lot of online casino slots known as オンラインカジノ スロット in the Japanese language have started publishing slots where he can be visible as one of the symbols.
Iniesta Made the Club Successful
Iniesta was followed by David Villa, former Arsenal and Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen and Sergi Samper. Before the arrival of Iniesta, the club had never won trophies, and in 2019 and 2020 they took two and got into the AFC Champions League for the first time in their history.
For the club, Iniesta is the centre of a business model that has been operating at full capacity for several years and is paying dividends. It’s good for both: the team earns from the football player’s brand, and the player receives $30 million, runs his own business, promoting wine and clothes in the Japanese market.
Buying Albacete Shares
In 2010, he bought Albacete shares, and two years later he saved the club from disappearing.
In the Albacete Academy, Iniesta spent two years until he was taken to La Masia. In 2011, the club was threatened with bankruptcy due to debts to football players and banks, so the management put the shares up for sale in the hope of getting at least some money. Andres became the largest investor.
In 2014, the club returned to the Segunda, relegated two seasons later, and then returned again and even competed for the ascension to La Liga in the 2018/2019 season, but lost to Mallorca.
Iniesta and his wife also produce sneakers. Andres launched the Mikakus brand with his wife Anna Ortiz. She is a designer, so she designs models herself. First, they opened a store in Japan, then in Barcelona. Now, most of the boutiques are located in Spain, but delivery is possible worldwide.