Tokyo: Spanish football player Andrés Iniesta on Tuesday took up a new role as the face of Japan's tourist organisation (JNTO) in a deal to promote the country's attractions in a series of videos that officials hoped would bring more European visitors to the Asian nation.
The former Barcelona midfielder, who solidified himself as a hero at the Catalan club after a 16-year stint in the first team until he transferred to Vissel Kobe in the summer, featured in a series of videos that offered viewers a chance to see "Japan through Iniesta's eyes," reports Efe news.
In the campaign, the 34-year-old explores some of the gastronomy and cultural offerings not only of his new hometown Kobe but also Nara.
His new side job was published just four days after the soccer player met Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, with whom he expressed his desire to learn more about the country and its geography.
The tourism campaign was launched alongside a raffle in which participants can win prizes ranging from hats, signed by Barcelona soccer balls, to return trips to Japan.
The tourism portal is a collaboration between JNTO and a travel company belonging to electronics giant Rakuten, which also owns Vissel and currently sponsors Barcelona.