World Soccer views and news
Nakamura’s Japan snub a no-brainer
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