Kaoru Mitoma (25)
A childhood friend of mine saw his “love for soccer” and his competitive spirit, “Japan’s trump card
Position: Midfielder Height: 178 cm, Weight: 71 kg
He loves soccer and talks about it 24/7. After practice, instead of talking about how hard it is to practice, we talk about how we can dribble past each other, or how that play was so bad.
Koji Kishi, who has played soccer with Kaoru Mitoma (25) since the first grade of elementary school, said of his childhood friend.
A midfielder in the English Premier League, this will be his first World Cup, and his strength lies in his ability to dribble at will.
He has been the best soccer player since he was in elementary school and hates to lose. When we were playing a game of “WIRE” (soccer game) together, he would be quiet when we were winning, but when Kaoru scored, he would start talking (laughs). It was easy to understand and interesting.
Kaoru Kaoru was selected for the World Cup this year.
Kaoru deserved to be selected for this year’s World Cup, and if Kaoru was not selected, I wondered who would be selected. I need him to play well.
The day is near when Mitsumata, the “Joker of Japan,” will surprise the world with his play.
Kubo Takefusa (21)
The youngest player in Spain, who is “surprisingly a character to be teased” and is very active in Spain
Position: Midfielder Height: 173 cm, Weight: 67 kg
Affiliation: Real Sociedad
Kubo Takefusa, 21, who was hailed as a “boy prodigy” when he joined Barcelona at the age of 9, is shining in Spain. A member of Real Sociedad’s organizing department is amazed at Kubo’s development.
Take (Kubo) has earned the trust of the coach by getting results from the chances he has been given. His adaptability to play in any position up front is what makes him so valuable as a player. He is popular with the supporters and is already becoming a special player at Sociedad, where there are many young players.
He is also appreciated within the club because of his cheerful personality.
What I didn’t expect was that he is a teasing character (laughs). He communicates with various players and staff members, and is loved by David Silva (36) and other senior members. Because of his personality and charm, I think he was able to integrate into the team quickly.
It is still fresh in our minds that he played a central role in the attack at the Tokyo Olympics, leading the team to the top four. Although he is the youngest player on the team, he should be able to do something with his left foot at the World Cup as well.
From the December 2 and 9, 2022 issues of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Koki Nagahama