J League: Why is Vissel Kobe rich? The reason why there are so many foreign big name transfers

J League

It’s hard to say that Vissel Kobe is a strong team that competes for the championship every year in the J.League. That’s to be expected, as Kobe has fallen to the second division in the past, so it can’t be said that they are a strong team in the J League. But why are we able to attract famous foreign players every year?



Vissel Kobe is a professional soccer club whose hometown is Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. This club’s predecessor was the Kawasaki Steel Mizushima Soccer Club, and its history dates back to 1966. Kobe joined the J League in 1997, so it can be said that it is a club with a relatively long history. The home stadium is Noevir Stadium Kobe, which can be said to be a wonderful stadium with a very realistic feeling.

Why is Vissel Kobe so rich?

Vissel Kobe cannot be said to be a team that advances to the top every year. Despite this, this is a team where big name transfers are in the news every year. Looking at the last few years, you can see that many world-famous players have come to Kobe. Every time there is a transfer, World Soccer News picks up Kobe and covers it.

2004İlhan MansızTurkey
2017Lukas PodolskiGermany
2018Andrés IniestaSpain
2019David VillaSpain
2019Thomas VermaelenBelgium
2021Bojan KrkićSpain

However, the question is, why on earth is Kobe able to acquire such big names one after another? It’s on Rakuten.

Rakuten, Inc.

Vissel Kobe’s business is strongly tied to Rakuten’s business. A big reason for this is that Rakuten’s owner, Mr. Mikitani, is interested in the soccer business. Mr. Mikitani, a former sportsman, is a soccer fan and is trying to bring big news to the J.League through sports and to liven up the J.League. The source of this huge amount of money is the power of Rakuten, which has plenty of money. However, if you look at the big-name transfers mentioned above, you can see that the number of big-name acquisitions has suddenly increased since around 2017. But why is this?


In 2017, a broadcasting contract was signed between the J League and DAZN. Thanks to DAZN, the amount of distribution money coming into the clubs each year has increased significantly, and each club has had more financial strength. And if you win or rank high, you can get a large sum of money. Kobe noticed this and began carrying out large-scale reinforcements every year. As Mr. Mikitani explained above, he is said to be a soccer fan, and has continued to make large-scale reinforcements. This put Kobe at the center of the conversation in the J.League.

Impact of Corona

However, in 2020, the J League was also forced to suffer a significant decrease in revenue due to the impact of the coronavirus. Admission revenue and sponsorship contract fees decreased sharply, resulting in a decrease in revenue of approximately 6.7 billion yen. However, despite this, Kobe was able to continue making large-scale reinforcements due to Mikitani’s enormous assets. Mr. Mikitani’s assets are said to be 660 billion yen in Japanese yen.

Relationship with Barcelona

Vissel Kobe tends to acquire many players from Barcelona. Most of them are Barcelona players: Sergi Samper, Bojan, Iniesta, and even Vermaelen. This is due to the partnership agreement between Vissel Kobe and FC Barcelona. By sharing information, this content becomes a strengthening measure to strengthen each other. Not only that, Kobe and Barcelona are also sister cities.

Why is Vissel Kobe weak?

On the other hand, despite having reinforced such big players, Vissel Kobe’s results are not stable at the top. It is true that Vissel Kobe is said to be weak because of this. Why is this?

personal strategy

When it comes to reinforcing Kobe’s big players, the owners often act first, and it is not always the intention of the on-site manager. Because of this, large-scale reinforcements are forced, and as a result, tactics cannot be matured, and there is a tendency for teams to rely on individuals every year. In particular, attack patterns tend to become monotonous and rely on the individual skill plays of big players.

Insufficient reinforcement of DF

Most of Kobe’s big reinforcements are frontline players. Even after making major reinforcements, Kobe’s results have been unstable, as they have been conceding a lot of goals. They are too focused on reinforcing big players and neglecting to strengthen their defense. In modern soccer, no matter how powerful a team is in attack, it is difficult to win if the defense is weak. It’s good to reinforce big players, but the reality is that the balance of team composition is not good.

Many changes in managers

Kobe is a team that has had a lot of resignations and dismissals from its manager. A team without a stable coach is basically unable to win. The director is the human brain. If the brain does not function, the arms and legs cannot move. Kobe’s soccer style is also unstable, changing with each new coach, which makes it difficult for the team to achieve consistent results. As a result, this has led to the evaluation that they are a weak team.

Let’s watch J League live

As introduced in the article below, it is now possible to watch the J League live on various video streaming services. Watch the match live by referring to the article below.

ChannelPlanSoccer ContentsURL
DAZN3750national team
major europe leagues
J league
Hulu¥1026french league
dutch league
WOWOW2530UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
ABEMA TV¥960national team
World Cup
Premier League
scottish league
スカパー¥429 + ¥2480national team
emperor’s cup soccer
J SPORTS1100fifa world youthJ SPORTS


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