Who is the most impressive player in Japan for Fernando Torres?

  • text by Yoichi Igawa
  • photo by Kenzaburo Matsuoka

"(Tomoaki) Makino at Urawa Reds was the most impressive defender in the league for me," Torres continued. "He was a tough opponent but we always exchanged nice words after games, and sometimes talked off the pitch too."

Before coming to Japan, Torres spent a lot of time watching J-League matches, and he has a few favourite players. Predictably enough, they are skillful midfielders similar to those from Spain.

"Kengo Nakamura from Kawasaki Frontale," Torres said without hesitation. "His playing style is attractive and I loved watching it. Receiving the ball between the lines, making beautiful turns, and then playing sharp, penetrative passes to trouble the opponents - I like that and can watch it for a whole game."

Torres, of course, also acknowledges Takefusa Kubo, who is currently playing for Mallorca on loan from Real Madrid in Spain.

"Now he is having a great experience in Spain," Torres said of the Japanese teenager. "Certainly, he's got huge talent and potential and I hope he will become the player he should. I think it's possible because he is clever and humble. I can see that in his interviews. He already knows about Spain and can speak Spanish after previously spending many years in Barcelona's academy.