Sakamoto hails influence of Takashi Inui ahead of Cerezo Osaka's AFC Champions League Round of 16 clash with Pohang Steelers
Osaka: Cerezo Osaka midfielder Tatsuhiro Sakamoto was full of praise for the mentorship of Takashi Inui who rejoined the Japanese side after 10 years in Europe ahead of their 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 tie against Korea Republic's Pohang Steelers on Wednesday.
In just his third full season as a professional Sakamoto played an important role in a Cerezo Osaka side that reached the Round of 16 for the third time in their continental history.
The 24-year-old made appearances in five of the six Group J ties, starting in four of them and scoring twice, to cap a fine 2021 so far that also saw him make his debut for the Japan national team on June 7 against Tajikistan.
Who’s in, who’s out: AFC Champions League Round of 16 East squads revealed
Kuala Lumpur: Asia’s top clubs are just days away from make-or-break AFC Champions League Round of 16 clashes, but with more than two months passing since the East Zone group stage was completed, next week’s blockbusters will not be without some new faces.
As the countdown to the knockout stage reaches its final days, the-AFC.com takes through who has arrived, who has departed and what it all means ahead of some of the biggest matches on the Asian football calendar
Who’s in, who’s out: AFC Champions League Round of 16 West squads revealed
Kuala Lumpur: It has been a rollercoaster of a summer transfer window in West Asia with most clubs making wholesale changes to their squads after the end of the 2021 AFC Champions League group stage.
As the countdown to the knockout stage reaches its final days, the-AFC.com takes you through who has arrived, who has departed and what it all means ahead of some of the biggest matches on the Asian football calendar.
Pohang’s Shin targeting ‘at least’ AFC Champions League semi-finals ahead of Cerezo clash
Osaka: Three-time continental champions Pohang Steelers of Korea Republic are aiming to reach the AFC Champions League quarter-finals for the third time when they face Japan’s Cerezo Osaka in the Round of 16. A man who will play a pivotal role in Wednesday’s tie, Pohang midfielder Shin Jin-ho, is in confident mood.
Having captained Ulsan Hyundai to the title in last year’s edition, Shin now finds himself at the Horangi’s regional rivals Pohang but after progressing to the knockout stages of the 2021 AFC Champions League he is once again in familiar territory.
The-AFC.com caught up exclusively with the 33-year-old ahead of the match with Cerezo to discuss his experience of the 2021 edition so far, their Round of 16 opponents and his goals for the tournament.
BG Pathum's Cardozo relishing Gustavo challenge in AFC Champions League tie with Jeonbuk
Bangkok: BG Pathum United defender Victor Cardozo has admitted that he can't wait to go up against fellow Brazilian and 2021 AFC Champions League Golden Boot contender Gustavo as the Thai side prepare to face Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the Round of 16 on Wednesday.
Centre-back Cardozo was a key component of a BG Pathum side that reached the knockout rounds of the continental competition in what is their debut campaign as the Thai champions won four from six matches in Group F to advance as one of the three best runners-up.
Next up Aurelio Vidmar's men face a daunting trip to Korea Republic to take on a formidable opponent in Jeonbuk, with Cardozo likely to be tasked with keeping seven-goal Gustavo – who has more goals than any other player still in the tournament – quiet.
Sharjah's Caio brimming with confidence as AFC Champions League showdown with Al Wahda looms
Sharjah: One of the most experienced players in the AFC Champions League, Caio Lucas is confident he can help Sharjah FC reach the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time in 17 years.
Born in Sao Paulo, the winger more commonly known as Caio, arrived in Japan as a teenager and played his entire professional career in Asia, with the exception of a short spell with Portuguese giants Benfica in 2019.