Two elite players were seduced by the attractions of the Asian contest, which aims to encourage and promote football
The Japanese League made two elite additions this season by signing Spaniards Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres. At 33, the former Barcelona midfielder, joined the Vissel Kobe and will receive a salary of 29.8 million dollars, according to Infobae.
Both Iniesta and Torres were seduced by a competition in which they will receive a significant amount of money, and which seeks to gain prestige. In turn, Torres, also known as the 'Child', will act with the Sagan Tosu, and according to Blasting News will earn six million euros per year.
Definitely, two high-level players who excelled with the national team and their clubs came to this Asian competition. The Japanese contest wants to attract attention with these signings, to obtain competitiveness, to generate incentives to fortify the spectacle, and to be at the same level of other leagues such as China or Major League Soccer of the United States.
What motivated Iniesta?
One of the main reasons why Andres came to Vissel was because of a winery business that he has and wants to increase in Asia. Likewise, Barcelona facilitated the negotiations because it will create a headquarters in Japan and the steering wheel will be in charge of leading the project.
The person in charge of making the contract was Hiroshi Mikitani, owner of Rakuten, sponsor of Barcelona and leader of the investment group of Vissel. "I like many things about Japan. I intend to immerse myself in Japanese culture", said Iniesta in his presentation, registered for 20minutes. In turn, the owner of the club, Hiroshi Mikitani added that the global influence of Iniesta will be of great inspiration for the league and Japanese society.
The challenge of Torres in the Sagan Tosu
One of the objectives of the former Atlético de Madrid striker is to get the team out of the relegation zone and put him on top of the tournament. "My family and I decided to come to Japan because we considered it the best destination," Torres said in a publication released by El Clarín.
The former Chelsea and Liverpool striker is a very strong attacker who hopes to delight with his goals and leave a legacy in Japanese football. Torres said, in a disclosure made by Diario Libero, that it will be very good to face Andres Iniesta and that this will be positive for both. The directors of Sagan Tosu want Torres to attract more people to follow the club due to the great recognition he has.
Benefits for players and the League
These outstanding Iberian footballers will be in charge of showing their talent and transmitting their experience in a competition that seeks to consolidate itself. Their contribution will be fundamental to motivate the boys who come from the lower divisions of these teams to strengthen various aspects.
With their presence, these two Spaniards are going to increase the mass attendance to the stadiums by the hierarchy they have. The Japanese League aims to be more attractive to football fans; for that reason, its leaders are making millions in investments.
Characteristics of the Japanese competition
The contest takes place between the months of March and November. The first division known as the J1 has 18 teams. Two phases are carried out, one is the Apertura Tournament and the other is the Clausura, with independent results, and the winners dispute the grand final.
The most important competition in this nation is the Emperador Cup and the team that achieves the title gets a place in the Asian Champions League. According to a Kirei Experience report, three foreigners can be incorporated to support the Japanese in this competition. On this occasion, the doors were opened to Torres and Iniesta in order to show their talent and promote football in Japan.
LatinAmerican Post | Daniel Cuevas
Translated from “Dos cracks españoles: la apuesta de la Liga de Fútbol de Japón para competir contra EE.UU y China”