Andrés Iniesta and Ricardo Rodríguez, awarded in Japan

Andres Iniesta, legend of Barça, was included in the ideal eleven of the J1 League 2021, as revealed by the Japanese league during the final season gala held in Tokyo. The footballer of Vissel Kobe was voted on by the League players, who also chose seven players from the champion Kawasaki Frontale, two from Nagoya Grampus and one from Yokohama Marinos in the best lineup. The award of best player of the season fell to the Brazilian Leandro Damiao, top scorer with 23 goals.

Iniesta He thanked his colleagues for the distinction, highlighting that it has a special value for him, since he started the year with crutches. The manchego reappeared in June after five months of recovery after the operation on the biceps femoris to which he underwent in December 2020 in Barcelona. He has played 18 games, scoring 3 goals and distributing 7 assists.

The award of Iniesta also recognizes the great year of Vissel Kobe, which completed the best season in its history, finishing in 3rd position in the J1 League and qualifying for the AFC Asian Champions. It will be the 17th time that Andrés Iniesta has played in the Champions League, the second in Asia.

In addition to the recognition of Iniesta, the Spanish Ricardo Rodriguez, coach of the Urawa Red Diamonds, won the award for best coach in the J1 League thanks to the votes of a committee of that organization “for the impact on the club and the game changer of Urawa Reds”.

“I am very happy with this recognition, it has been a very beautiful season where the whole team has rowed in the same direction and in which the players have internalized very well what I wanted from them. I am very grateful to Urawa for the trust. It is an award for all of us who make up this great family. Hopefully we can put the finishing touch by achieving the Emperor’s Cup “, he said. Ricardo Rodriguez after receiving the award.

Despite being a campaign considered transitional, Richard has signed excellent numbers with the Saitama team, achieving sixth place in the competition and reaching Levaine Cup semi-finals after eliminating Kawasaki Frontale. In addition, he is only one game away from reaching the final of the Emperor’s Cup, since this coming Saturday he faces in semifinals to Cerezo Osaka. An extremely coveted competition, as the winner will achieve a direct pass to the Asian Champions League next season.

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