Spanish football legends Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres had J-League debuts to forget for their new Japanese clubs.
Iniesta, who lifted an astonishing 32 pieces of silverware during his time with Catalan club Barcelona, but tasted a rare defeat as he stepped out for new side Vissel Kobe, during a 3-0 thrashing by Shonan Bellnare.
Over 26,000 fans were in attendance to see their new hero, with some even waving Spain flags in honour of the majestic 34-year-old.
Meanwhile over in Tosu, Sagan were defeated 1-0 by Vegalta Sendai during former Champions League winner Fernando Torres’ debut. After over 404 appearances for his boyhood club Atletico Madrid over two spells, the 34 year-old left La Liga for East Asian shores with compatriot Iniesta.
Torres’ Tosu Sagan are in danger of relegation, with fans hoping the once deadly forward can drag Massimo Ficcadenti’s men away from the drop-done.
Vissel Kobe sit sixth in the J-League table, but Iniesta seems up for the challenge.
“It’s a shame we lost because I don’t like losing,” Iniesta said. “But this is just the first step of an amazing new adventure. It was a physical game that showed the quality of the J-League.”
The Spaniard isn’t the only star plying his trade for Kobe, fellow World Cup winner Lukas Podolski lines up as the side’s centre-forward.