Japan ahead Daichi Kamada says his facet’s giant contingent of Bundesliga gamers can draw psychological power from realizing they “share the identical stage” as first-up World Cup opponents Germany. Japan’s squad for the finals in Qatar consists of eight Germany-based gamers, greater than some other nationwide league – together with Japan’s first-division J1 League. 9 Japanese gamers play within the first division of the Bundesliga, seven of which have been chosen within the squad for Qatar. Qatar-bound midfielder Ao Tanaka additionally performs in Germany, for Fortuna Duesseldorf within the second division.
Kamada, 26, who has 12 targets in all competitions for Frankfurt this season, might be one in all Japan’s most essential gamers in Qatar.
“There are quite a lot of Japanese gamers within the Bundesliga now and I believe we’re on an equal footing with them (the German nationwide workforce) now,” Kamada informed AFP.
“Once I first arrived within the Bundesliga from Japan, I used to be enjoying towards gamers from Bayern and the Germany nationwide workforce. However once I was enjoying in Japan, there have been just one or two gamers from the Japan nationwide workforce over there.
“It was unusual to be enjoying towards gamers I had solely watched earlier than, however… I believe it has an enormous impact on us mentally to be sharing the identical stage as them.”
Qatar-bound Freiburg winger Ritsu Doan stated Japan’s sizeable European-based contingent – 21 of 26 gamers – confirmed sufficient depth to bother not solely Germany, however fellow group heavyweight Spain.
“There should not solely gamers enjoying in Germany, but additionally within the 5 main leagues at a excessive degree, and properly, I believe we are able to compete with the 26 gamers (in our squad)” Doan informed AFP.
“I believe it’s constructive that every one the gamers are competing not solely within the Bundesliga however usually at a excessive degree.”
‘We are able to compete’
The excessive illustration of Japanese gamers in Germany is greater than only a statistical quirk.
Germany has a protracted historical past of scouting and recruiting Japanese gamers, courting again to 1977, when Yasuhiko Okudera made his debut for Cologne, turning into the primary Japanese footballer to play professionally in Europe.
Okudera informed AFP so much had modified since his decade-long stint with Cologne, Hertha Berlin and Werder Bremen, specifically that Japanese gamers had confirmed their potential to compete on the highest degree.
“In these days, it was so much stricter… it was onerous to get in,” Okudera stated.
“Now (the Bundesliga) has turn into a spot the place we are able to compete on the identical pitch as gamers from Africa, South/Central America and the remainder of the world.”
Maybe the very best profile Japanese participant lately, former Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa, was recruited to Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund straight from Japan, earlier than a high-profile transfer to the Premier League two years later.
Japan and Germany play one another in Group E’s first fixture on November 23, however whether or not enjoying week in and week out towards lots of their opponents can be a bonus stays to be seen.
Okudera stated Japan’s familiarity with Germany and the Bundesliga would “be a bonus”, however might also favour Germany.
“On the one hand, will probably be a bonus, and then again, the opposite facet is aware of us (higher).”
Japan captain Maya Yoshida, who joined Schalke in the summertime, informed AFP: “I am unsure if it is going to or not (be a bonus).”
“I believe it’s good that we perceive German, like for set performs and so forth.
“It’s positively a plus to have the expertise of enjoying with such gamers and realizing their traits – but it surely’s the identical for the opponent”
Yoshida, who made the transfer from Serie A’s Sampdoria to Schalke in the summertime, joked that his transfer to the Bundesliga could have been made with the World Cup in thoughts.
“That is the explanation why I play right here,” Yoshida stated.
(This story has not been edited by Dailynews369 employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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