Why Vissel Kobe failed to become the 'Japanese Barca' despite Iniesta's dream move: 1-minute explainer
The Guardian provide a detailed analysis of the so-called 'Barcafication' of Vissel Kobe. Tribuna.com share the most crucial takes.
- Vissel Kobe and Barcelona are both sponsored by the same company, e-commerce giant Rakuten, who have been working tirelessly to turn the local team into the Japanese Barca.
- Andres Iniesta's arrival in 2018 caused hysterical optimism, the club allegedly considered building a bigger stadium to improve the current 30.000 capacity.
- The "Iniesta fever" in Japan even forced Kobe to hire an impersonator when the legendary midfielder was unavailable for the sold-out game against FC Tokyo.
- Apart from Iniesta, Kobe also signed David Villa, Lukas Podolski, Sergi Samper and Thomas Vermaelen which makes it four former Barca players within their squad.
- Kobe's targets were to win the J1 League in 2019 and the Asian Champions League in 2020, however, nothing has worked out yet.
- Pep Guardiola's former coach Juan Manuel Lillo only lasted for six months while Podolski was stripped of the captain armband.
- Despite the most recent 6-1 win, Kobe are 12th in their 18-team league table with 10 more games left to play.
Source: The Guardian adapted by Tribuna.com