A2 Basic UK 77 Folder Collection
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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.
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Fernando Torres on why he choose Japan

77 Folder Collection
Takaaki Inoue published on May 15, 2020
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