Saitama: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger credits a bold decision to coach in Japan early in his career with helping him become one of the most successful managers in the Premier League.
Wenger spent 18 months in charge of the J-league's Nagoya Grampus before joining the Gunners in September 1996 and said the move had a significant impact on his career.
The 63-year-old is still highly regarded by Japanese football fans. A near-capacity crowd of 43,000 was on hand when Arsenal beat Nagoya 3-1 in a preseason friendly.
Upon arriving in Japan, Wenger quickly brought respect to a team that in the previous year was at the bottom of the league.
Under Wenger, Nagoya won the national cup competition and the Frenchman received the J-League manager of the year award in 1995.