‘I’m here!’ – Former Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata confirms move to new club

The 35-year-old has followed the path of former Spain international teammate Andres Iniesta in moving to the J1 League outfit at the end of his career. Mata left United in 2022 upon the expiration of his contract, spending last season at Galatasaray.

The former Reds midfielder played 18 times in Turkey, but despite being tipped to join the majority in Saudi Arabia, he has opted for a slightly different route.

Alongside a picture of himself in his new colours, Mata wrote: “Thanks for the incredible welcome, Japan! Im here! Ive always been a big admirer of this country and its culture, and its time to enjoy it here in Kobe.

“Grateful to everyone that made it possible. I will try my best to try to win another league title, we are in the race!

“Thank you football for allowing me to live such amazing life experiences!”

Vissel Kobe will hope the arrival of Mata can help them towards the J1 League title. They are currently second in the table after 25 matches, sitting just one point behind Yokohama FM with a game in hand.