Japan’s representative, Hiroki Ito, says, “I was relieved when I saw my name.” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Japan’s representative, Hiroki Ito, says, “I was relieved when I saw my name.”

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Interview with the savior of the sideback shortage!

Position: DF Height: 188 cm, Weight: 84 kg
Affiliation: Stuttgart

Ito, who creates chances with his high mobility and accurate feeds, also has the versatility to play CB.

I didn’t watch the press conference for the national team. I thought the result would be the same even if I did. But I was relieved when I saw my name.

Hiroki Ito, 23, was responding to the interview without hesitation, but when he reflected on the moment he was chosen for the national team, his cheeks relaxed involuntarily.

Ito, who played midfielder until he was 20 years old, has a strong skill with his feet. Since his first call-up to the national team in May of this year, he has contributed to the team with his accurate feeds and aggressive attacking play. Ito has been a successful member of the World Cup squad.

I was a little confident that I would be selected for ……,” he said with a laugh. (Laughs.) After all, I had experience playing in the Bundesliga for a year. Recently, I have gained confidence in my physical contact. I think coach Hajime Moriyasu (54) is looking for me to be competitive on the edge of the ball, so I want to show that.

The team’s first-round opponents, the Germans, have played against them many times in league matches.

Among the players I will be facing, I am wary of 19-year-old Jamal Mussiara, who has a high level of skill in all aspects of the game. He has a high level of skill in all aspects of his game, and he is a player who can work backwards from the goal to find the best solution. In fact, he scored a goal right in front of me in the league match this past September, and if we clash at the World Cup, I would like to get my revenge.

The World Cup comes just six months after his first selection. While he says he still has work to do, he and his left-sided teammates are working more closely together.

Kaoru (Mitate) has a style of dribbling, so it is easy to match with him. On the other hand, Takumi (Minamino) cuts inside, so I am conscious of moving up to the open space on the side. I think our relationship is getting better and better.

The World Cup is finally upon us. When asked about his enthusiasm, he gave a “typical” answer.

I will fight with a level mind until the end. I want to be calm and in my best condition, and see how far I can go. I am excited about it.

He is quietly burning with fighting spirit as he prepares for his first major competition.

From the December 2 and 9, 2022 issues of FRIDAY


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