Nakamura arrival causes Ronaldo-like frenzy

TOKYO - Japan's Shunsuke Nakamura protested against his "Galactico" billing after his arrival in Spain sparked a chaotic airport crush among Espanyol fans.

Hundreds of fans greeted the midfielder as he swept into Barcelona for a medical on Saturday while Spanish media compared him to new Real Madrid signing Cristiano Ronaldo.

"I'm not a star," the 31-year-old told Sunday's Japanese media. "I will have to work twice as hard as everyone else at the club and be prepared to put in a defensive shift.

"It's not easy to make an impact in Spanish football. I'll be trying hard to establish myself step by step."

Nakamura joined Espanyol on a two-year deal from Scotland's Celtic last month after winning three Scottish Premier League titles at Parkhead.

He opted for Espanyol after snubbing a return to his boyhood J-League club Yokohama F-Marinos.

The former Scottish player of the year will instead make his home debut against the likes of Ronaldo and Kaka when Real Madrid visit Espanyol in the second week of the La Liga season.


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