Lukas Podolski targets AFC Champions League berth with Vissel Kobe

Germany striker Lukas Podolski is targeting an AFC Champions League berth after joining Japanese side Vissel Kobe from Galatasaray.

“I don’t feel any pressure because I have had pressure since I started playing football,” said Podolski, as quoted by Reuters at a news conference in Kobe on Thursday.

“It is not a problem, it is a big challenge for me. I don’t play in Europe, I play now in the J.League and Asia, so it is a big move, of course, but I have a target,” the 2014 World Cup winner added.

“The first target is to fight for the first three places (in the J.League) to qualify for the Champions League.”

Podolski has joined J1-League from Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray in March on a deal estimated to be worth $5.3 million. He is the highest-profile J-League import since Uruguay striker Diego Forlan.