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Japanese Champions Vissel Kobe Confirm Mata Departure

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Former Spain midfielder Juan Mata has left recently crowned Japanese champions Vissel Kobe following the expiration of his contract, the club announced on Saturday.

Mata signed a four-month deal midway through the season and was part of the Kobe squad that won the J.League title for the first time, making a solitary appearance.

“I am very happy to have been part of the club’s historic moment in winning the league for the first time,” Mata said in a statement. “I will never forget the memories we made together.”

The 35-year-old, a World Cup winner with Spain in 2010, won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012 before spending eight seasons with Manchester United.

He then played for a season at Galatasaray in Turkey prior to signing with Kobe as a free agent in September.