Okubo rejoins Kobe

Japan striker Yoshito Okubo has rejoined J-League club Vissel Kobe from Bundesliga champions VfL Wolfsburg, where he spent the past six months without much playing time.

Vissel Kobe said Tuesday that 27-year-old Okubo would start training with the team the following day ahead of their next J-League match at the weekend.

Okubo, who spent a disappointing 18 months with Spain's Real Mallorca until July 2006 in his first European stint, joined the German side last January on a contract through June 2011. But he has been limited to nine Bundesliga appearances and scored no goals for Wolfsburg.

"I have come back, hoping to restore my intuition for playing matches," he said, adding that he felt out of form when he recently played for Japan before they qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ finals in South Africa.

Okubo has scored 64 goals in 149 J-League matches since his debut with Cerezo Osaka in 2001 and five goals in 35 international matches for Japan.

After moving to Spain in January 2005, he scored scored only five goals in 39 La Liga appearances. He returned to Osaka and then moved to Kobe in early 2007.

Okubo said he would try to help Kobe, perennial J-League strugglers, find their way into title contention and, eventually, the AFC Champions League. The club finished 10th in the J-League last year.

"I will give my all as I strongly hope to play in the ACL and win the title with this club."