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  • Konnichiwa, Fernando Torres Desu. YoroshikuOnegaishimasu! [Hi, I'm Fernando Torres. Thank you!]

  • Yes! Oliver and Benji got me into football.

  • I was 5-7 years old and I had not touched a ball in my life when they started showing Oliver and Benji on TV.

  • I remember that you had to finely tune the television to find the channel.

  • And I stayed glued to the screen watching Oliver and Benji. Seriously!

  • In fact, during one of the visits of the President of Sagan Tosu to Madrid,

  • he brought us a picture of Oliver and Benji where I was one of the characters with the Atletico shirt,

  • and the painting was signed by the author.

  • They found out that I liked it, and they were kind enough to give me that present.

  • I love the way the Japanese people are, how respectful they are, the space they give to people.

  • It's something I've noticed in Japan, quite different from other places in Asia.

  • It is something that is appreciated, especially at this time of my career.

  • From the match against Sagan Tosu [in 2015],

  • I remember that we were all impressed by the atmosphere in the stadium.

  • There were so many people, the stand almost full, there were huge banners and flags, everyone cheering. We were really impressed.

  • The stadium was almost full and that means that this is a team and a fanbase that wants football,

  • that breathes football, that lives football, that demands that things happen.

  • It has always been very important for me to have passionate fans behind me, that want things to happen...

  • That's a huge incentive.

  • Yes! We are playing the penultimate day!

  • It will be a pleasure to play against Iniesta. I wish it was with him, but...

  • We can make him a place in Sagan Tosu whenever he wants.

  • Iniesta told me the idea he had [to go to Japan].

  • Then everything went as he expected and it became official.

  • He was also aware of my option and encouraged me to follow him there.

  • The reports he had to the league and of the country were very similar to the ones I was given.

  • We have had parallel lives: We debuted together for Spain U-15,

  • we have achieved the greatest successes of the Spanish national team as important players and now we are leaving our clubs

  • in the same year to go to the same league.

  • I know the players of the Sagan Tosu

  • and also those in the Japanese league who played at the World Cup

  • but will soon leave, I'm afraid.

  • They have played a great role in Russia, despite the tough defeat they suffered against Belgium,

  • because of the way it happened in the last minute of the game.

  • I think they have shown that they are players who, individually, have a lot of potential.

  • Hopefully we can help to form base from which they can look to the future.

  • When making the decision, you try to evaluate everything.

  • And there are points that add up. For example, how good we were treated there?

  • The fans, who I'm sure I'll like because I've seen them.

  • It's a humble and hard-working city, which is important because that is directly linked to the way in which

  • fans behave and what they are going to demand of the team... It's all related.

  • And there have been very few points that left us in any doubt.

  • Whenever I have gone to Asia, and to Japan in particular,

  • I have received overwhelming affection.

  • I understand that expectations and enthusiasm are very high, and that makes me even more motivated to be up to the challenge.

  • I am not going just to spend two years and see what life is like in Japan. Absolutely not.

  • I'm going to compete, to help the team achieve its goals,

  • and I hope I can return back all that love that I'm sure I'll have from the first day.

  • Golden retreats are elsewhere... I was looking for a competitive league,

  • which would make me feel like I have a challenge ahead of me. And I'm thinking 100% about football,

  • about being a footballer, about doing my best, working hard, being a team player,

  • and I'm available to the team for whatever

  • I want to be important, to make myself important, to become a reference for my teammates,

  • for the club and to ensure that when I finish my experience in Japan, 55

  • they can remind me only with good words as it has happened to me in all the places where I have been.

Konnichiwa, Fernando Torres Desu. YoroshikuOnegaishimasu! [Hi, I'm Fernando Torres. Thank you!]

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Fernando Torres on why he choose Japan

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