• Kyodo

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Much-traveled Brazilian-born defender Emerson Thome has joined Japanese second-division side Vissel Kobe from English premier league club Wigan Athletic, Kobe officials said Wednesday.

The 33-year-old Thome, who has Portuguese nationality, joined up with his new teammates at a training camp in Guam the same day and is set to sign subject to a medical when the team returns to Japan.

“I hope with my experience and ability I can help Kobe make a swift return to the first division,” Thome said in a release.

Thome joined Sheffield Wednesday from Portuguese powerhouse Benfica in 1998 and played for a host of other English clubs including Chelsea, Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers.

Kobe finished bottom of the J. League first division last season and were relegated with Tokyo Verdy and Kashiwa Reysol.

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