David Villa to join former Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta at Japanese side Vissel Kobe

DAVID VILLA will link-up with former Spain and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta at Japanese club Vissel Kobe after leaving the MLS, according to reports.

The 36-year-old will end a four-year spell at New York City at the end of the year.

David Villa to join former Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta at Japanese side Vissel KobeReuters4 Villa and Iniesta were part of Spain's World Cup winning team in 2010

But instead of entering retirement, Villa is set to add another chapter to his glittering career.

Sports Four understand the forward will move to the J1 League in time for the 2019 campaign.

As well as reuniting with fellow-World Cup winner Iniesta, Villa will play under fellow-Spaniard Juanma Lillo at the Noevir Stadium Kobe.

Fernando Torres, also a world champion from 2010, is also applying his trade in Japan with Sagan Tosu.

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David Villa to join former Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta at Japanese side Vissel KobeEPA4 Villa and Iniesta won a host of honours together, including the 2011 Champions League

Visel, who are 11th in the J1 League with one game remaining, have one berth remaining for a foreign player.

Teams are only permitted a maximum of five overseas stars with Brazilian Wellington, former Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski, Kim Seung-gyu and Iniesta already signed up.

Despite entering the twilight of his career, Villa showed no signs of slowing down while in the MLS.

In four campaigns in New York he netted 80 goals in 126 appearances and often looked a class above.

David Villa to join former Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta at Japanese side Vissel KobeGetty – Contributor4 Iniesta has agreed aa multi-year deal in Japan

And upon confirming his intention to leave Yankee Stadium, he paid tribute to the club.

The club's first ever signing said:  “I can only say thank you, thank you to everybody.

"First, to City Football Group that gave me the opportunity to come here. To NYCFC and MLS for accepting me. To everybody at the Club who helped me day-by-day.

“Thank you to the people in the offices, the people working with the team and the coaches and staff. Thank you to my teammates – without them it would have been impossible to be successful.

David Villa to join former Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta at Japanese side Vissel KobeAP:Associated Press4 Villa scored 80 goals in four years at New York City

"Thank you to the people working in the media that always gave me the respect and the love.

“Obviously, our fans. I remember the first day I showed the jersey and the supporters were there.

"I would have liked to give the supporters the MLS Cup, but I don’t have any doubts that in the next years the club will get it for sure.

“My experience here was amazing. It gave me everything as a soccer player, as a person, and as a family man. I’ll always remember this experience with love. My heart is here and I’m an NYCFC supporter forever.”

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