Kaoru Mitoma, a member of Japan’s national team, reveals his frustration at being thought of as “affected by injury… Japan’s national team player Kaoru Mitoma reveals the anguish in his heart: “I am not worthy. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Kaoru Mitoma, a member of Japan’s national team, reveals his frustration at being thought of as “affected by injury… Japan’s national team player Kaoru Mitoma reveals the anguish in his heart: “I am not worthy.

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One year after “1 millimeter of Mitake” at the World Cup in Qatar
We meet the Japanese ace who is struggling in the English Premier League…

Last October, he signed a five-year contract with Brighton worth up to 3.8 billion yen, one of the highest contracts ever signed by a Japanese player. He bears the heavy responsibility of an ace.

Kaoru Mitoma, 26, made his mark at the 2010 World Cup in Qatar, where he came on as a substitute in the 12th minute of the second half against Germany in the first round of the tournament and contributed to a 2-1 comeback win. Six minutes into the second half, with the score 1-1, he was on the end of a ball that was just over the goal line, and he turned it in to assist Ao Tanaka (25) for the game-winning goal.

The assist became the talk of the town in Japan as “Mitoma’s millimeter,” and was later described by the English media as “Mitoma working his magic” (We Are Brighton). Mitoma said, “I received a lot of messages.

I received many messages and it seems that many people were moved. I am happy because it is not an experience I get to have very often. In the short time I played, I think I was able to show what I have to offer. If I had played more games, I might have been able to grasp more things. (I don’t think there are many people who would give up at that point (laughs). (Laughs.) I don’t mind it that much.

After returning to the world’s premier Premier League after the World Cup, Misuzu has been on a roll.

In 16 official games since the league resumed, he has scored eight goals and provided five assists. His goal against Liverpool in the FA Cup, which he scored from a kick feint, was named one of the five best goals of the tournament. During this period when he was on a goal scoring spree, Misumi was feeling fulfilled in England.

I’m trying to score in every game,” he said. I think people around me look at me that way, and I think I enjoy that kind of pressure.

Before the World Cup, his position in the Japan national team was that of a bench player. Although he played an important role as a “trump card” or “joker” in the final stages of games, he could not take his place in the starting lineup.

After the World Cup, however, Misumi’s position was transformed into a key player in the new Japan national team, and the 26-year-old attacker has been very successful in the Premier League. The 26-year-old attacker has also been very active in the Premier League, and he has been keenly aware of the high expectations placed on him by Japan.

I am happy that people are paying attention to me, but I have to play well for the national team. I want to make sure I don’t disappoint them. I think the number of people who come to the stadium to watch the national team games is increasing. Since he plays in the Premier League, people will ask, ‘How well can he do? I think more and more people will come to the stadium to watch the national team games. I have to play accordingly.

At Brighton, he has grown into an ace. He has grown into an ace at Brighton, and he now feels more responsibility than ever. The best example of this was in the final stages of last season. Although he contributed greatly to the club’s first-ever qualification for the Europa League, Misuzu’s personal fatigue from the back-to-back games caused him to slow down. He was unable to score a goal or provide an assist. He only burst into joy immediately after the Europa League berth was decided, and in the final game of the season, he repeatedly reflected on his performance.

‘Toward the end of the season, I was a little impatient, perhaps losing mental composure. I feel that I simply showed my ability. With more injuries on the team, I couldn’t do well when the burden was on me. It is fun when the results are good, but difficult when they are not. I was able to grow, but this season also brought up a lot of issues.

This season, however, Mitsumata’s responsibilities increased even more. Brighton lost two key players, midfielder Alexis McAllister (now at Liverpool) and midfielder Moises Caicedo (now at Chelsea), and the team also suffered an emergency situation with a number of injuries in the attacking lineup. Mitate himself injured the back of his right thigh last November. Under such difficult circumstances, the Samurai Warrior began to talk about his responsibility as the ace of the team.

I want to score goals that lead the team to victory.

For Mitomo, who always says this, there were more and more games in which he was not satisfied with his performance. After the 2-3 loss to Chelsea (December 3), in which a goal was scored after an opponent was sent off, he felt a strong sense of self-doubt.

I could have finished the game by setting up, going deep into the opponent’s box, and making a quality cross, but I couldn’t do that. It was disappointing that I couldn’t do that. (The injury) has not affected me at all. I haven’t been able to give it my all on the pitch. I am frustrated that people think, ‘It can’t be helped because of the effects of the injury.

He also feels frustrated in the Japan national team, where he started the September series against Germany and contributed to a 4-1 win, but withdrew from the October series due to illness and from the November series due to an injury to the back of his right thigh. In Brighton, he suffered a left ankle injury in a game against Crystal Palace on December 21. Manager Roberto De Zerbi explained that he will be out for four to six weeks. His participation in the Asian Cup was thrown into doubt.

However, Misuzu was called up to the Japan squad for the Asian Cup. Based on De Zerbi’s explanation, there is a possibility that he could start playing in the final tournament, which begins on January 28. Hajime Moriyasu must be thinking about the increased difficulty of the tournament, which is why he has called up Misumi.

For Misumi, the Asian Cup will be his first major international tournament as a core member of the national team. He started the season with an injury, and even after his return, there are still concerns about his condition. However, once he gets on the pitch, he will be a mainstay of the team with the same determination and resolve as he did in Brighton.

His dribbling is one of the best in the Premier League, with his ball carries exceeding 200 meters in some games.
He gives a thumbs-up when he finds an old photographer. The earnest Mitsumata said of the success of Keito Nakamura (23), who plays the same position for the national team, “I have to learn from him.

From “FRIDAY” February 2 and 9, 2012

  • Interview and text Kosuke Tajima PHOTO Koji Watanabe

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