Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen has won two major trophies since he moved to Vissel Kobe in the Japanese top flight two years ago. Thomas Vermaelen signed for the J-league side as a free agent on July 27, 2019. The former Arsenal skipper signed a two-and-a-half year deal when he joined Vissel Kobe. Ex-Barcelona teammates Andreas Iniesta and Sergi Samper were at the club when he joined two years ago. Thomas Vermaelen also met former Arsenal teammate Lukas Podolski at the club.
On February 8, 2020, Vermaelen was one of the players who missed nine successive penalties during the shootout as far as the Japanese Super Cup is concerned. Vissel Kobe eventually won the Super Cup thanks to the winning penalty from Hotaru Yamaguchi as they saw off Yokohama F. Marinos via a 3-2 win in the shootout. Apart from Yamaguchi, Andreas Iniesta and Junya Tanaka also scored for Vissel Kobe in the shootout. Takahiro Ogihara and Thiago Martins were successful for Yokohama F. Marinos during the shootout.
The 2020 Japanese Super Cup was the second title for Thomas Vermaelen at Vissel Kobe and it was won on penalties after the two teams involved played out a 3-3 draw.
Vissel Kobe star Douglas set the ball rolling with the first goal of the game on 27 minutes before Marcos Junior scored the equaliser for Yokohama F. Marinos nine minutes later. Yokohama F. Marinos were level for just four minutes before Kyogo Furuhashi scored a second goal for Vissel Kobe for a 2-1 lead at the break. Takahiro Ogihara scored a second equaliser for Yokohama F. Marinos nine minutes after restart. Vissel Kobe led for a third time when Hotaru Yamaguchi scored on 69 minutes and it took just four minutes for Erik to draw level at 3-3to pave the way for the shootout to determine the destination of the trophy.