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Tuesday, 11th December 2012
In Japan Sports News, Sports,

Japanese Chelsea fans greet players at Yokohoma Starbucks

Football fever is taking over Japan as Chelsea players are greeted by fans when they go for coffee.

Chelsea stars Petr Cech and Paulo Ferreira are in Japan for the current Club World Cup and found themselves at the mercy of excited admirers as they attempted to buy a drink at Starbucks.

News agency Reuters reported that Cech asked his fellow player if he wanted to have his beverage in the establishment or back at the hotel. Possibly fearing the fervour of the fans, Ferreira said he wanted to go back.

He made sure he came away with a souvenir of his visit though as he bought a Yokohama Starbucks mug.

Excited Japanese fan Shohei Tanimura said that his encounter with the players was "luck" as he "only came in for a quick coffee".

Clearly impressed by the stature of the players, the student said "Cech was huge. He's even bigger than he looks on TV".

Chelsea is set to play Mexican club Monterrey on Thursday - 13th December – in the semi-finals, while the Egyptian team Al-Ahly who beat Japan's Sanfrecce Hiroshima will play South American team Corinthians.

Quoted on the club's official website, Chelsea striker Fernando Torres defended the importance of the Club World Cup.

"How many people don't take this tournament seriously, or don't think it is like the real World Cup? It is for the club.

"You ask the South American people. David Luiz showed me a video of Corinthians fans at the airport, it was full of fans cheering the team and traveling to Japan to support, so it is important," he said.

He suggested that while European fans may not give the tournament as much attention, but he said while "to some people it might not mean much, to me it does, so this is not a holiday or a break, this is a World Cup".

Torres said that it is "nice to be involved, and maybe to be able to say you are a world champion".

Written by Mark Smith