Winner against Germany, Japan says thank you to the Bundesliga

By overturning a completely crazy match, Takuma Asano and Ritsu Doan allowed the Samurai Blue to win their entry into this 2022 World Cup in the best possible way. All this, against an opponent not so unknown as that, since the two Japanese scorers of the day are playing in Germany, like six other of their teammates in the selection. Backfire.

It is saying that this Germany-Japan had a (very) strong scent of the Bundesliga. At kick-off, no less than 13 out of 22 players were indeed playing in the German championship: eight side Nationalmannschaftfive side Samurai Blue, including Ao Tanaka, midfielder of Fortuna Düsseldorf, resident of 2. Buli. The latter, replaced twenty minutes from time by Ritsu Doan, was able to see from the sidelines that his teammate, usually a right winger of SC Fribourg, also took the know-how made in germany in his luggage for Qatar. His firecracker from the left, just four minutes after coming into play, came to reset the counters to zero. Before Takuma Asano, also a substitute, as at VfL Bochum where he also squatted the right flank of the attack, came to give Japan the advantage definitively, not without having got rid of Nico Schlotterbeck, then Manuel Neuer at close range. A nice revenge for the native of Komono who had missed meeting the German defender last November in Dortmund due to a tear in the internal ligament of the knee and whose last opposition against the cyborg of the Teutonic cages had resulted in a suitcase (0-7) in August.

“They show great commitment and a tendency to want to do everything perfectly. In addition, they are very diligent in training and very disciplined. » Pierre Littbarski on Japanese players in the Bundesliga

Legionnaire’s Silver Medal

Adding to the three aforementioned Kito Itakura (Gladbach), Maya Yoshida (Schalke), Daishi Kamada (Frankfurt), Hiroki Ito and Wataru Endo (Stuttgart), there are no less than eight Legionare Japanese who make up Hajime Moriyasu’s list, the second largest contingent of Bundesliga players at this 2022 World Cup, behind Germany (twenty), but ahead of Switzerland (seven). A figure which may surprise, but which only confirms that, since the transfer of Yasuhiko Okudera to FC Cologne in 1977, German-Japanese football relations have been in good shape: since then, the Bundesliga has recorded 39 incoming transfers, and its little sister 33 According to Pierre Littbarski, who took the opposite route in the 1990s, there is nothing surprising about this. Already a decade ago, former JEF United Ichihara explained at the site of the German championship why this one is an ideal destination for Japanese players: “They show great commitment and a tendency to want to do everything perfectly. In addition, they are very diligent in training and very disciplined. » Or when the clichés finally have a good back.

“I am delighted to find my teammates Christian Günter and Matthias Ginter, but until next year, we are no longer friends! » Ritsu Doan before Germany-Japan

Thank you Buli!

And if it is true that the Samurai Blue have not missed a single World Cup since 1998, it would seem that this 2022 vintage is that of maturity. “I think it’s one of the strongest Japanese teams to participate in a World Cup” dared the metronome of Eintracht Daichi Kamada in a press conference. “Our goal is the quarter-finals. » The captain Stuttgarter Wataru Endo was no less complex before the meeting: “Qualification for the rest of the tournament depends on whether we manage to take three points or not against Germany. But we have a chance to win against her. » Pragmatically, Ritsu Doan confirmed that having a third of Bundesligist within the selection was nothing but an advantage: “We play against Bayern, I know their individual qualities. They are crazy players, but we have to keep our faith. On the one hand, I am delighted to find my teammates Christian Günter and Matthias Ginter, but until next year, we are no longer friends! » If Japan finally achieves its goal to the detriment of Nationalmannschaft, perhaps in the future, the German players will in turn offer themselves a little cure of discipline and assiduity in the Land of the Rising Sun. After all, relationships are better when they are two-way.

And in the end, it is no longer the Germans who win…

By Julien Duez

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