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Former Spain midfielder Juan Mata has joined Vissel Kobe on a free transfer, the Japanese club announced on Sunday.

Mata, a member of Spain’s World Cup winning squad in South Africa in 2010, has signed with the Takayuki Yoshida-coached outfit after leaving Turkish side Galatasaray over the summer.

Kobe are second in the J.League standings, one point behind leaders Yokohama F Marinos, and face Kyoto Sanga on Sunday knowing a win will take them into pole position.

Mata had been without a club since leaving Galatasaray and joins Kobe after earlier spells with Valencia, Chelsea and Manchester United.

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