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Barcelona icon Iniesta apologises over blackface photo

AFP  |  Tokyo 

legend Andres has apologised after posting a photo on with two people in as part of celebrations.

The 34-year-old superstar who currently plays at Japan's Vissel Kobe had no intention "to upset anyone by displaying that photo," according to a statement by his agency sent to AFP on Wednesday.

"He would like to apologise to those people who may have felt offended," the statement said.

Iniesta's picture on and posted on Sunday showed his family and a group of people in costumes, taking part in the Three Kings Day celebration also known as Epiphany, which is widely celebrated in

The midfielder, who lifted 32 major trophies and made 674 appearances for Catalan giants Barca, joined Vissel Kobe in May, calling his move an "important career challenge".

The icon's decision to choose Vissel arguably represents Japanese football's biggest transfer coup, with many top players now moving to cash-rich Chinese clubs in the twilight of their careers.

It also came as a timely boost to the J-League, which used to attract luminaries such as Brazilian great and former England star when it began in 1993, but has struggled to attract marquee players in recent years.

-- who famously scored Spain's winning goal against the in final -- had been top of the wishlist of Vissel owner The billionaire is also the founder and of Rakuten, Barcelona's main sponsor, and was heavily involved in the deal that brought to

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 17:25 IST