Nami Matsuzawa , Japan
Do you know Japanese popular sports ?You may think of figure skating , gymnastics , swimming …..One of the famous sports in Japan is soccer! There are 18 soccer teams in J1 League (Japan 1 League) .You may know some team names which are Gamba Osaka, , Nagoya Grampus Eight, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Urawa Red Diamonds, FC TOKYO and Kashima Antlers…..
I think that Japanese soccer players are smaller and skinnier than any other players in the world.Some people may think Japanese soccer players don’t have skills and strong bodies .
But some Japanese play soccer abroad.Some Japanese soccer players have the oppotunity for success on foreign teams.They play against taller players .
Today, I will show you a good Japanese soccer player.
His name is Atsuto Uchida. In 2006 , he became a Japanese professional soccer player as a right back .He played for J1 League club Kashima Antlers. Uchida began his professional career when he debuted for Kashima at the age of 17 against Sanfrecche Hiroshima.
He is a very fast runner and has never given up his good attitude and is very competitive. So, he has to trust in his team players and his team mate have to trust in him , too. There is a nice relationship.
At the end of the 2008 season, he made 34 appearances and scored once in all competitions. He was named J League Best Eleven for the first time. In addition, he signed a contract extension, keeping him until 2012.This is such a great thing.
In 2010 , his team club continued to win and he became a Japanese national football team player.His play made the Japanese people happy. There was no one who did not to know him at that time.
On 13 June 2010 , he joined the German club Schalke04 .He was admitted because of his ability .He was not only fast, but also a good defense player . He is not tall ,176 centimaters. He does not have a big body. Sometimes this characteristic is a weapon.He can run nimbly .This is one of the important skills in soccer.
When he joined Schalke04 , he didn’t become friends with this team. His team mates could not believe his skills. In addition , he could not speak German, but he never lost heart.
He thought “I will succeed and get back at everyone someday.”He tried to do extra practices. He became the hardest worker. His efforts affected his team mates. He was always selected as a regular member and became an essential player.
Neymar praised his defense skills. He was the first Japanese person to win the Champion League Best 4 and sometimes he was selected as best eleven player in a European soccer magazine.
One day ,he injured his leg and he left Schalke04 in 2017. He was loved so much by Schalke04 supporters. When he left , Schalke04 held a big ceremony for him.
Now he has returned to play for Kashima Antlers. I think he will play abroad again in the not so distant future. He gives a lot of inspiration to Japanese children soccer players.
I think that he is not only Japanese successful soccer player, but also Keisuke Honda who played Ac milan , Shinji Kagawa who plays Burussia Dortmund now .
Now , Japanese soccer players are rising. I want everyone to pay attention to Japanese Soccer Players!