Daichi Kamata, former coach of Japan’s national soccer team, reveals his “hunchbackedness
Position: Midfielder Height: 184 cm, Weight: 76 kg
Daichi Kamata (26) is now the most popular Japanese player in Europe. He has scored seven goals and provided four assists in the league this season for Frankfurt, Germany, and his market value is said to be in excess of 4 billion yen. This is the highest of any Japanese national team player. After graduating from high school, Kamata spent three seasons with Sagan Tosu of the J-League. Tomoo Tsukoshi, who served as his physical coach, was often surprised by his high level of awareness.
Daichi always had a strong overseas orientation, and it seemed to me that that was the only thing he was looking for,” he said. In a good sense, he has a timidity that Japanese people lack. He is a player who can say his own ideas immediately when he thinks, “I should do this,” or “What is this? He is a player who can say what he thinks as soon as he feels it is the right thing to do or what it is. When he is at Tosu, he sometimes dares to choose difficult plays in order to overwhelm opponents. I think he had the underlying idea that if you can’t do this well in Japan, you won’t be able to make it overseas.
In the winter of his second year, when Mr. Tsugoshi heard Kamata say, “I want to play in Europe soon,” he immediately booked a plane ticket, and together they traveled to Italy, Germany, and England to watch four games together.
When he saw Juventus play in Italy, he was impressed by their top-level speed and strength. At that time, he must have been able to sort out what he needed to do in Europe.
Kamata’s strengths are his unmatched accuracy in passing and shooting. Mr. Tsugoshi describes Kamata as a “special player.
He had an outstanding sense of speed in making choices and timing his passes, but he was not a physical player. However, he has shown that he can play to his strengths and compete at the world’s top level. This is probably a rare case of a Japanese player succeeding overseas.”
Kamata’s dynamism will be essential if Japan is to advance to the last eight for the first time in its history.
The bigger the stage, the better Daichi will do,” says Tsugoshi.
Mr. Tsugoshi has high expectations for Daichi.
From the December 2 and 9, 2022 issues of FRIDAY
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