On Dec. 1, Vissel Kobe announced the signing of Spain international David Villa. On the same day, Villa and club chairman Hiroshi Mikitani appeared together at a Noevir Stadium press conference.
During a question-and-answer session, Villa discussed his reasons for joining Kobe.
“First off I’m grateful to chairman Mikitani and everyone in the Vissel Kobe staff. I’m really happy to be joining this club. I want to use everything I’ve been capable of thus far in my career to bring Vissel to new heights. I hope that I can adjust to our style of football quickly and contribute to our results from the start of the season. Finally I’m grateful that I’ve been received so warmly by the club, its supporters, and everyone in Japan. I hope I can somehow return the favor.”
Here’s what Mr. Mikitani had to say:
“What I remember most is his game-winning goal in the UEFA Champions League final, and how he’s such a natural goal-scorer. He’s also a leader. I’m excited that we have three of the world’s best players at Vissel Kobe. We want to play attractive and strong Vissel-style football.
-- What was your biggest reason for choosing Vissel Kobe?
“Throughout my career, whenever I’ve had to make a big decision I’ve always paid attention to how the club welcomes me. I’ve felt that warm welcome from so many Vissel staffers, and I feel like I can become a part of this project. It’s also a very attractive proposition to play with Andres Iniesta, who embodies the kind of football they want to accomplish.
-- Did you consult with Iniesta when you made the decision?
“When the offer came I called him. He told me how great a time he’s having in Kobe, how great the club is, and how great the project is, and I got a good feeling from that. I was really excited to be able to play again with my good friend of so many years.
-- What was your impression of today’s match and the stadium atmosphere?
“I thought it was a great match. Vissel controlled the initiative and created lots of chances. It was fun to watch. I can’t wait to start playing with this team next season, and I’m happy I was able to greet my new teammates.”