Around 8 p.m., a crowd had gathered at Tokyu Plaza Ginza (Chuo-ku, Tokyo). This was because Kaoru Mitoma, 26, a midfielder for Japan’s national team from Brighton of the English Premier League, had suddenly “descended” to attend a talk show.
The dribbling prodigy, who led Japan to an upset victory over Spain at last year’s World Cup, is now a world-class star that has caught the attention of big clubs.
Although he was dressed in a polo shirt and chinos, he looked rather dapper in his casual attire. Fans were still excited, and some came up to him for autographs, but he simply said, “Sorry,” clasped his hands together, and walked away.
He is a serious person, and he is determined to pursue his career as a soccer player. Conversely, he has no interest in anything other than soccer, and his fashion is simple. Many athletes want to marry celebrities, but Mitomo has no interest in any of them, and he married his classmate from the University of Tsukuba, track and field athlete Kuria Kemmochi.
He says of his wife, “She is very supportive,” which is very typical of him. He is now a star athlete, but when we saw him after the match, he was just as he used to be, and he didn’t seem to be in high spirits at all.
His “jimmy casual clothes” are a reflection of his stoicism. Is it just this magazine that sees an overlap with Shohei Otani (28), who devotes everything to baseball? We are expecting a big explosion just like Otani’s.
From the July 14-21, 2023 issue of “FRIDAY
PHOTO： Kumataro Arai