Podolski unfazed by Vissel pressure as he aims to improve J.League

Podolski unfazed by Vissel pressure as he aims to improve J.League

Vissel Kobe’s newest signing Lukas Podolski spoke to Japanese media for the first time on Thursday following his arrival in the country, where he was greeted by about a thousand fans at Kobe Airport.

The former Germany international appeared with club chairman Hiroshi Mikitani, answering questions regarding the move and his impressions of the J.League.

Asked about his decision to move to Kobe, Podolski replied: “We decided as a family. Mr. Mikitani’s incredibly enthusiastic offer was one factor. 

“I did a lot of research about Kobe online and it looked like a very good fit for us.”

The striker, who played for Arsenal and Bayern Munich previously, was granted a raucous applause upon setting foot in the country and he responded with thanks, hoping to repay the faith shown in him.

“It’s an honour to have so, so many fans come out,” Podolski continued. “Japanese airports are very clean and organised so the arrival felt very good. 

“I just hope I can show fans what I train to do. I think it’s important that I give my experience to the team. Of course, I want to score a lot of goals and be able to show myself enjoying the game.

“I’ll be here for two and a half years and I want to not only play football but also learn and experience Japanese culture.”

“I’m not an expert but I know it’s the best league in Asia and I want to help make it even better,” the 32-year-old continued.

“I’m used to pressure so it doesn’t concern me. I hope my team-mates will support me.”

“I played together with [Urawa Reds defender] Tomoaki Makino at Koln and he was a very interesting player. I look forward to facing him. 

“I look forward to understanding the J.League once I start training.”