Chanathip eager to prove himself in Japan

Thailand midfielder Chanathip Songkrasin said he is eager to prove himself in Japan after he arrived at J.League club Consadole Sapporo earlier this week.

The Southeast Asian star, nicknamed ‘Messi Jay’, flew into Japan on Tuesday to begin an 18-month loan from Muangthong United to become the first Thai player in the J1 League.

Around 100 fans were at Sapporo’s airport late on Tuesday to welcome Chanathip, who took part in a light training session on Wednesday in front of fans and the gathered media.

“I am glad that I received a warm welcome from my teammates. But I have not yet trained with them,” said Chanathip, who trained alone as he is carrying a slight injury to his right foot.

The club posted a video of Chanthip arriving at the training ground to its Twitter account.

Chanathip arrives in Japan with Consadole fighting to avoid relegation from J1 League. They are currently in 15th position in the 18-team league, just one point above the drop zone.

“I want to help them stay up,” he said.

Sapporo coach Shuhei Yomoda said of his new signing: “He’s a good player. I want him to become fully fit and adapt to conditions here as soon as possible.”