Nakamura’s Japan snub a no-brainer

July 15, 2009

Japan midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura’s decision to snub a return to Yokohama and join Spain’s Espanyol left his boyhood club devastated.


Yokohama’s club president slapped himself with a 50 percent pay cut by way of apology to furious F-Marinos fans, but arguably the most surprising aspect of the protracted saga was Yokohama’s “shock” that Nakamura opted for Espanyol instead of them after leaving Celtic, where he won three Scottish Premier League titles.


The choice between playing against glamour sides Real Madrid and Barcelona or languishing in the backwaters of the struggling J-League was a no-brainer.


The 31-year-old had always wanted to play in La Liga, while Espanyol had been chasing the Japan playmaker for years.


Nakamura’s new club described their new signing as a “galactico,” heralding his arrival as every bit as important as Real Madrid’s acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka.

Hyperbole aside, the move makes obvious sense for Nakamura, and Japan coach Takeshi Okada is unlikely to shed any tears for Yokohama ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Picture by Albert Gea/Reuters


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Posted by Dusan Jaglicic | Report as abusive

The J League is struggling?

pathetic article

Posted by Chips Raferty | Report as abusive

Yokohama could not afford him — proof J-League is struggling. Not only financially. Level of soccer is a joke. Good on Naka. Good luck in La Liga!

Posted by Paul Desler | Report as abusive

Though attendance is pretty good, I think he has a point in calling the league a struggling one. B/c of the economy, clubs are tight budgeting compared to the league’s heyday. Not as much media attention either.

I guess you haven’t watched much J-league lately. Of course its not quite EPL nor is it La Liga, but you do get to see some good football. Entertaining teams too (check FC Tokyo or Hiroshima matches).

Posted by hiroshi | Report as abusive

I think that was the wrong attitude, he should not behaving like that, we all know J league is struggling hard, and i hope they will give us best results in future, if they keep struggling hard.

Posted by Soccer Uniform | Report as abusive

[…] no ill-effects from their failure to sign former star player NAKAMURA Shunsuke. Descibed as “shocked” that Nakamura chose to go to Barcelona’s “other” club, Espanyol, rather than back […]

Posted by 2009-09-12 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3-2 Yokohama F. Marinos « ¡Sanfrecce Olé! | Report as abusive