Six months after being Turkish champion with Galatasaray, Juan wins the Japanese League. It is the first time that Vissel has won this title. The Spanish international has won trophies in four countries (Spain, England, Turkey and Japan).
At the end of May, Juan Mata lifted the Turkish Super League trophy with Galatasaray, and now, at the end of November, he is champion of the Japanese League (J1 League) with Vissel Kobe. Six months of madness that have allowed him to add to an already brilliant track record.
Vissel Kobe’s 2-1 win over Nagoya Grampus at NOEVIR Stadium sealed the championship. With one game to go, Vissel have 68 points, four points clear of nearest challengers Yokohama Marinos. Goals in the first quarter of an hour from Ide and Muto were enough to seal the win.
Titles in four countries
Juan can boast of having won trophies in four countries (Spain, England, Turkey and Japan). This is a very difficult variety to find among the elite. In fact, among his historic teammates at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, only Pepe Reina has been able to triumph in four countries.
Among his historic teammates at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, only Reina has been able to triumph in four countries.
Faced with more tempting offers from a financial point of view, the Spanish international decided to take on the Japanese challenge for two reasons: the possibility of winning titles and his interest in getting to know a culture that he finds fascinating. It was Mata’s first experience outside European football, and he was following in the footsteps of Iniesta, Villa and Bojan.
It was the first league championship in the history of Vissel Kobe (founded in 1965), and its most important trophy (it had already won the Emperor’s Cup and the Japanese Super Cup). A fundamental step towards consolidating itself as a major player in Japanese football and to try to be a protagonist in international tournaments.