Real signing Kubo 'proud' of 'Japanese Messi' nickname
Sao Paulo: New teenage Real Madrid signing Takefusa Kubo said it was an "honour" to be nicknamed the "Japanese Messi" when speaking to reporters at the Copa America on Friday.
Earlier in the day, Spanish giants Real announced the 18-year-old was joining the record 13-time European champions from FC Tokyo, to play for their B team next season.
"Being called the Japanese Messi is an honour and makes me proud, but I'm still not at his level and I prefer to concentrate on my abilities and strengths," said Kubo from Japan's Copa America base in Sao Paulo.
Madrid: Real Madrid confirmed the signing of Japanese teenager Takefusa Kubo on Friday.
The 18-year-old joins from FC Tokyo and will play for Madrid's B team, Castilla, next season.
"Takefusa Kubo will join Castilla next season," a Real Madrid statement read. "He is one of the most promising young players in world football, an attacking midfielder with excellent technique and great vision for the game."
Sao Paulo: Japan plan on displaying their "strength" at the Copa America when the Blue Samurai make their second appearance as guests in a tough Group C alongside champions Chile, head coach Hajime Moriyasu said on Thursday.
"I'm really looking forward to playing in the Copa America, it's one of the highest level tournaments in the world," the head coach told reporters in Sao Paulo.
"How can we show our strength and which way we play, that's what we want to find out in this tournament," the head coach of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 runners-up added.
Sao Paulo: Australia have accepted an invitation to take part in next year's Copa America alongside Asian champions Qatar, who make their debut in the South American tournament this weekend, CONMEBOL announced on Thursday.
"We have decided to invite ... to participate in our competitions the current Asian confederation champions and the previous ones," said Alejandro Dominguez, the president of South American football's governing body.
The announcement came the day before the 2019 competition kicks off in Sao Paulo with hosts Brazil taking on Bolivia.
Qatar, the 2022 World Cup hosts, are participating in the Copa America as guests for the first time this year and line up in Group B alongside 14-time former winners Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay.