Bundesliga’s Japanese Contingent On “Equal Footing” Forward Of World Cup | Soccer Information

Japan ahead Daichi Kamada says his aspect’s massive contingent of Bundesliga gamers can draw psychological energy from figuring out they “share the same stage” as first-up World Cup opponents Germany. Japan’s squad for the finals in Qatar contains 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, will probably be one in all Japan’s most necessary gamers in Qatar.

“There are a lot of Japanese players in the Bundesliga now and I think we’re on an equal footing with them (the German national team) now,” Kamada instructed AFP.

“When I first arrived in the Bundesliga from Japan, I was playing against players from Bayern and the Germany national team. But when I was playing in Japan, there were only one or two players from the Japan national team over there.

“It was unusual to be taking part in in opposition to gamers I had solely watched earlier than, however… I feel it has an enormous impact on us mentally to be sharing the identical stage as them.”

Qatar-bound Freiburg winger Ritsu Doan said Japan’s sizeable European-based contingent – 21 of 26 players – showed enough depth to trouble not only Germany, but fellow group heavyweight Spain.

“There usually are not solely gamers taking part in in Germany, but additionally within the 5 main leagues at a excessive stage, and properly, I feel we will compete with the 26 gamers (in our squad)” Doan told AFP.

“I feel it’s optimistic that every one the gamers are competing not solely within the Bundesliga however usually at a excessive stage.”

‘We can compete’

The high representation of Japanese players in Germany is more than just a statistical quirk.

Germany has a long history of scouting and recruiting Japanese players, dating back to 1977, when Yasuhiko Okudera made his debut for Cologne, becoming the first Japanese footballer to play professionally in Europe.

Okudera told AFP a lot had changed since his decade-long stint with Cologne, Hertha Berlin and Werder Bremen, namely that Japanese players had proven their ability to compete at the highest level.

“In these days, it was lots stricter… it was onerous to get in,” Okudera said.

“Now (the Bundesliga) has turn into a spot the place we will compete on the identical pitch as gamers from Africa, South/Central America and the remainder of the world.”

Perhaps the highest profile Japanese player in recent years, former Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa, was recruited to Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund directly from Japan, before a high-profile move to the Premier League two years later.

‘An advantage’

Japan and Germany play each other in Group E’s first fixture on November 23, but whether playing week in and week out against many of their opponents would be an advantage remains to be seen.

Okudera said Japan’s familiarity with Germany and the Bundesliga would “be a bonus”, but may also favour Germany.

“On the one hand, it is going to be a bonus, and alternatively, the opposite aspect is aware of us (higher).”

Japan captain Maya Yoshida, who joined Schalke in the summer, told AFP: “I am undecided if it should or not (be a bonus).”

“I feel it’s good that we perceive German, like for set performs and so forth.

“It is definitely a plus to have the experience of playing with such players and knowing their characteristics – but it’s the same 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’s the reason why I play here,” Yoshida stated.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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