Tokyo: Around the lower tier of Tokyo Stadium, one banner among the many draped over the railings captures the sentiments in the suburbs of Japan’s capital on Saturday: “From Tokyo to the world” it said in Spanish as FC Tokyo’s fans bid a fond farewell to Real Madrid-bound Takefusa Kubo.
Kubo, the highly-rated superstar-in-waiting, had already played his last game for the Gasmen – a 3-1 win over Oita Trinita on June 1 – before inking a five-year deal with the Spanish giants and making his senior debut for the Japan national team at the Copa America in Brazil. It had been an eventful month for a player who only turned 18 on June 4.
That date, though, was significant as it meant Kubo was free to sign a deal that would take him back to Europe after a four-year absence, having returned to Japan in March 2015 following his release from FC Barcelona.
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.
Asian Qualifiers draw to provide pathway to Qatar and China
Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Qualifiers draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Preliminary Competition and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 will be held on July 17, 2019 at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – providing Asia’s top 40 nations with their pathway to glory.
The seedings for the draw will be based on the latest FIFA Rankings issued on June 14, 2019 and following the conclusion of the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 where Bangladesh, Cambodia, Guam, Malaysia and Mongolia - advanced to Round 2.
The decision on the outcome of the match between Macau and Sri Lanka is still pending.
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."
History making Mongolia's journey only just beginning
Bandar Seri Begawan: Mongolia must be prepared to work even harder if they want to continue making history after advancing to the next stage of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Joint Qualification on Tuesday.
The East Asians saw off a strong challenge from Brunei, who had drawn level 2-2 on aggregate by the end of the first half at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
Mongolian captain Norjmoo Tsedenbal, however, had the final say as he struck a penalty two minutes into the second half to ensure his team advanced to the second round for the first time in their history.