Countdown to kick-off – Japan

We are only four days away from Chelsea’s first pre-season game in Japan against Kawasaki Frontale and we continue our countdown to kick-off in Yokohama by looking back at a picture from a past visit to the country by the Blues.

Our snapshot today was taken on 9 December 2012 and shows Petr Cech signing autographs for some lucky Chelsea fans who were among the hundreds who gathered at Narita Airport to greet the Blues as they arrived in Japan to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup final

The players may have been feeling a bit weary after taking a long-haul flight to the Far East immediately after a 3-1 league win at Sunderland the day before, but they still found time to acknowledge the excited supporters who had patiently waited at the arrival hall for a glimpse of their heroes.

The recently retired Cech is now the club’s technical and performance advisor and he will be returning to Japan with the team as they prepare to face J.League champions Kawasaki Frontale in Yokohama on Friday 19 July and Barcelona in Saitama on Tuesday 23 July.

For ticket information for both of Chelsea’s pre-season matches in Japan, please click here.