Japanese football continues to raise its level, bringing together many players of great quality. Iniesta, Bojan, Torres and Podolski are some of the Europeans who have left their mark in Japan. Their talent is growing and expanding in Europe, becoming the highest level Asian country on the international scene. Also in Spain.
Japanese footballers in Spain
Japan has been represented in Spanish football since the late 1990s. At the beginning of the millennium, the Japanese country began its football explosion and brought a multitude of players to the best European leagues. In Spain, Japanese players have played for many of the top clubs in the Spanish football elite.
Japanese in the past
Japanese football arrived in Spain more than 20 years ago. Players such as Sotaro Yasunaga, at Racing de Ferrol; Shoji Jo, at Real Valladolid; or Akinori Nishizawa, at RCD Espanyol, remain in our memories. Later on, other Japanese players would arrive, such as Yoshito Okubo at RCD Mallorca or Kenji Fukuda at UD Las Palmas, CD Castellón and CD Numancia.
Later on, talented Japanese players such as Shunsuke Nakamura at Espanyol Barcelona or Aki, who stayed at Mallorca for two years. All of them were able to gain experience in European football thanks to their level and their great development in their native country.
Recent Japanese talent
Japan has also been in the news in recent times. One of the best known Japanese players is Takashi Inui, who has played for Real Betis, Deportivo Alavés and, above all, SD Eibar. Charismatic and talented, he has become one of the best Japanese players in the history of LaLiga.
Other Japanese players such as Kiyotake at Sevilla and Shibasaki at Tenerife, Getafe, Deportivo de La Coruña and Leganés have left less of a mark recently. Okazaki at Málaga and Huesca or Shinji Kagawa at Real Zaragoza are rare Japanese additions to Spanish football.
TakefusaKubo deserves a special mention. The current RCD Mallorca player on loan from Real Madrid has combined loan spells at Villarreal CF and Getafe CF. Although he is still untapped, Kubo is set to be the most talented Japanese football talent in Spain.
Differences between Japanese and Spanish football
Japanese football is booming and as a result Japanese footballers are expanding in Europe. They are all looking for new opportunities in European football so that they can continue to learn and develop as professional players. There are still many differences between Japanese football and Spanish football.
Great football knowledge
The Japanese have a strong and tactically advanced national league. Both coaches and players have extensive knowledge of technique, tactics and methodology. An education that comes from their own culture, disciplined and based on the culture of hard work.
In addition, Japanese football does not boast great physical prowess due to natural and physiological reasons. Therefore, Japanese footballers must develop qualities such as football intelligence in order to excel. It is not surprising that many talented Japanese players occupy areas in midfield.
Lack of league culture
In European football there is a culture of knowing the national league and being a fan of a club in your own country. This is not the case in Japanese football. Japan is a country with a culture that always looks to the outside world and, as a result, many Japanese fans are fans of clubs such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid or Manchester United, among others.
This lack of culture in their national league means that the competition is not followed en masse and therefore does not generate the necessary support for its proper development. Only the signing of players such as Villa, Iniesta or Torres, among others, can generate a stream of fans in Japanese stadiums.
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