Two of Japan’s Best Current Footballing Exports

Two of Japan’s Best Current Footballing Exports

Japan has grown to a level where it’s top players are now playing a part in the top leagues in the world. The country has produced several players who have been successful outside it’s own domestic leagues, here are two great examples of that.

Takumi Minamino

Born in January 1995, Takumi Minamino joined the Cerezo Osaka youth team when he was 12. He was trained through the academy for years and participated in tournaments, such as Japan’s U15 Club Youth Soccer Championship Tournament, which helped him grow his career. In 2011, he moved to the academy’s U18 team. He was part of the team that played in the Takamadonomiya Cup JFA U18 Soccer Premier League. This tournament saw him securing 4th place in the top scorers’ list.

In August 2012, he joined Cerezo Osaka’s first team. He made his debut on 17 November 2012 when he replaced Takuma Edamura. The team was playing against Omiya Ardija. In 2012, the club gave Minamino the number thirteen shirt. He played for Cerezo Osaka professionally until 2015 when he signed a contract with Red Bull Salzburg, an Austrian football club. He played for this club until 7 December 2019 when they played against WSG Swarovski Tirol.

In December 2019, Minamino was signed by Liverpool, making him the first Japanese football player to play for the English football club. He made his debut on 5 January 2020 when the team played against Everton in the FA cup (a game which, like all other Premier League games, is available to bet on at Casumo). His premier league debut was on 23 January 2020, when the team played against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Minamino made his first goal for Liverpool at Anfield when the club played against Arsenal. As of 2021, he is the attacking midfielder or winger for Liverpool and the Japan national team.

Maya Yoshida

Maya Yoshida is a successful Japanese footballer who was born in August 1988. During his second year in elementary school, he started his football career when he joined Nanling FC. He later joined the Nagoya Grampus U15 team. After playing for Nagoya Grampus Youth Academy for five years, he was moved to the first team in 2007. He trained and played in different positions for several seasons.

In December 2009, Yoshida moved to VVV-Venlo, a Dutch football club. He signed a three-year contract, which saw him playing in the 2010–11, 2011–12, and 2012–13 seasons. With his talent, he helped the team win most of the competitions. On 30 August 2012, he joined Southampton, a move that helped grow his career significantly. He played for the team for 8 years.

On 31 January 2020, Yoshida joined the Italian football club, Serie A side Sampdoria. He was a substitute for two matches and made his debut on 8 March 2020 when the team played against Hellas Verona. As of 2021, Yoshida plays as a center-back for the club and also serves as the captain of the Japan national team.