J-League Preview: Cacau joins Cerezo Osaka
Cacau signed for Cerezo on Monday, pending a medical, and the 33-year-old striker will form arguably the highest-profile striking partnership in the J-League alongside Uruguay international Diego Forlan at the Osaka-based club.
After 11 straight seasons with Stuttgart, Cacau has moved to Japan and hopes the Asian country can be a fertile hunting ground for him as it has for the likes of other Brazilian-born footballers - such as Hulk, Dunga and Zico - in the past.
"I feel so happy to be able to play in the J-League, where so many Brazilian players have come before me," Cacau said in a statement released by Cerezo.
"It's an honour to play for a team with the tradition of Cerezo Osaka."
Cacau scored 107 goals in 338 games during his time with Stuttgart in Germany but the forward joins a club struggling just above the relegation zone on goal difference this season, despite the signing of Forlan, who has scored six goals in 18 matches.
Cerezo will take on third-placed Kawasaki in round 20 knowing anything less than a win could see them drop into the relegation zone, if Nagoya Grampus manage to get a better result at Gamba Osaka, who are aiming for their seventh consecutive victory.
Megumu Yoshida will get his second shot at a maiden win in charge of leaders Sagan Tosu this weekend when his team will host FC Tokyo.
Yoshida replaced Yoon Jung-hwan last week after the South Korean coach was sacked by Sagan due to an alleged lack of trust between him and his players.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima defeated Sagan 1-0 on Monday in a game rescheduled due to a typhoon, with Yoshida's men missing the chance to move three points clear at the top of the table.
Sagan (37 points, plus 12 goal difference) lead Urawa Reds (37, plus 12) due to their 12 wins compared to Urawa's 11 with both teams having scored and conceded the same number of goals so far this season.
Urawa lost 2-1 at Kawasaki last week and host reigning champions Sanfrecce in round 20 knowing a win could see them leapfrog Sagan if Yoshida's side again fail to triumph.
Kawasaki (36 points) could also claim first position if they overcome Cerezo and the top two slip up.
Kashima Antlers face Ventforet Kofu, Vegalta Sendai take on Shimizu S-Pulse and Kashiwa Reysol will clash with Vissel Kobe.
In other fixtures, Albirex Niigata host Omiya Ardija and Yokohama F Marinos visit Tokushima Vortis.