Nakamura ready to knuckle down

TOKYO - Japan's Shunsuke Nakamura expects little in the way of special treatment after signing for Spanish side Espanyol.

The 31-year-old midfielder joined the La Liga side on a two-year deal last month from Scotland's Celtic and pledged to establish himself quickly at his new club.

"I have to convince the manager, my team mates and the Espanyol fans to accept me," Nakamura told Thursday's Japanese media.

"I'm the foreigner so unless I am better than the Spanish players I won't get to play much. I have always wanted to play in Spain at a big club so it's a chance to prove myself."

Former Scottish player of the year Nakamura snubbed his boyhood team Yokohama F-Marinos for the chance to play against the likes of glamour sides Real Madrid and Barcelona.

His decision triggered outrage among Yokohama fans and prompted the president of the J-League side to cut his own salary by 50 percent by way of apology for failing to sign Nakamura.

Nakamura, scheduled to join his Espanyol team mates for pre-season training this week, played for Italy's Reggina before winning three Scottish Premier League titles at Celtic.