These days, it’s not uncommon for Japanese soccer players to be placed on foreign teams. Shinji Kagawa with Manchester United and Yuto Nagatomo with Inter Milan are just two examples of Japanese athletes who play for teams abroad.
Now, the island country can lay claim to a new rising star, a nine-year-old soccer player who recently signed a contract with the world-famous Spanish soccer club, Real Madrid. Read on for a full introduction to this talented young player, as well as some videos of his amazing play style!
For those of you less familiar with the wide world of soccer, Real Madrid is the world’s richest soccer club in terms of revenue and is located in the heart of Spain’s capital. It’s incredible acclamation of funds has allowed it to capture some of the biggest names in modern soccer. Gareth Bale, a player from Wales, was reportedly paid a record-breaking 100 million Euros (US$1,358,000) to transfer over to Real Madrid. Other noteworthy players from the team’s current line-up include Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal and Iker Cacillas, the team captain. And now, the lower branch of this soccer superpower has contracted their first Japanese citizen.
On September 28 of this year, Takuhiro Nakai (nicknamed Pipi), a nine-year-old Japanese boy from Shiga Prefecture, signed a contract with the lower branch of Real Madrid. The child is only in the fourth grade at primary school, but already shows some outstanding talent. Videos reveal his fast footwork and incredible ball control. When up against other kids his age, no one can steal from him as he dribbles down the field. Japanese Netizens insist that this kid could someday become the next Lionel Messi!
And that’s not all they have to say. Here’s a sampling of the online comments from Japanese forums:
“Takuhiro Nakai is really good!”
“Wow, so a Japanese person was able to make it into Real’s lower branch!”
“Takuhiro Nakai is too good! I’d love to see him play with Takefusa Kubo at the Tokyo Olympics.”
“Achieve your dreams! This sort of self-motivation is important for both adults and kids!”
“Man, if Kubo continues on to play for Barcelona and Nakai makes it to the first-team squad of Real Madrid, I look forward to seeing them face off in The Classic!”
Needless to say, there’s a lot of excitement amongst Japanese soccer fans now that their country has someone on the fast track to playing for Real Madrid. After seeing his skill, they’re expecting great things. Quite a few anticipate a future game between Takuhiro Nakai and Takefusa Kubo, another young Japanese soccer player who is currently contracted with the lower branch of FC Barcelona.
We’ve still got a ways to go before Takuhiro is ready to play in the professional leagues. It will be interesting to watch the kid grow from a naturally gifted youngster to a full-fledged player. Takuhiro may be young, but Real Madrid is one of the world’s top soccer clubs. They wouldn’t have picked him if they didn’t recognize some truly awesome potential.
▼ Check out the Takuhiro’s technique at age seven!
▼ He’s particularly proud of his heel lifts.
▼ Have another montage of awesome plays!
▼ He earned himself a TV spot on Yabecchi when he was still only seven.
▼Now compare that to Takefusa Kubo, the player promised to Barcelona.
▼ We can only hope to see the pair face-off like this in a few years time.
[ Read in Japanese ]