Successful trip to Japan


Bu Yazıyı Paylaş

veya linki kopyala

VfB’s connection to the Far East has existed for almost three decades, and received its first major boost in 1994 when club legend Guido Buchwald moved to the Urawa Reds. Since then, the relationship with the country has continued to grow in a number of different ways. The clearest evidence of this is undoubtedly the considerable number of Japanese players who have laced their boots for VfB, making it almost a home away from home for Japanese players in Europe.

Extraordinary hospitality and meetings with leading officials

For VfB Stuttgart, the club’s partners and German professional football in general, Japan is a strategically important international target market. With that in mind, in addition to a meeting with Kozo Tashima, president of the Japanese Football Association (JFA), there was also a visit to Yoshikazu Nonomura, chairman of the J-League.

Discussions were held regarding the next steps of VfB’s commitments in Japan, which will focus on developing young players as well as sponsorships and partner activities. “This trip has enabled us to embrace and further deepen VfB’s relations with Japan and to further expand our Japanese network,” said Kasper, who also extended several invitations to visit Stuttgart during the trip. “We enjoyed extraordinary hospitality from our Japanese partners and friends, were encouraged in our strategic approach and are already looking forward to the next steps in Japan.”

Numerous Japanese visitors in 2023

Japanese delegations have visited VfB regularly. In February, Tomoe Tanabe, head coach of Chifure AS ELFEN Saitama, spent several days in Stuttgart, and was accompanied by the managing director of her club, Mitsugu Tamura.

At the beginning of March an U18 team from the JFA Academy Fukushima played against a combined XI from the VfB U17s and U19s in Stuttgart, including the two Japanese members of VfB’s youth academy, Rei Okada and Anrie Chase. VfB’s Japanese first-team players Hiroki Ito, Genki Haraguchi and captain Wataru Endo welcomed the guests from their homeland.

Some 9,000 kilometres away, all of these activities were closely followed by the club’s ever-growing fanbase. VfB have had Japanese-language social media accounts since October 2022 and are already on the verge of breaking into the top 20 among European football clubs on Twitter. On the Japanese video platform ‘Sportsnavi’, VfB are already among the 10 most successful European clubs and achieved over 1.3 million video views in March alone.

Such intense interest should come as no surprise, as VfB have long been popular in Japan. There have been Japanese players at the club since 2011: Shinji Okazaki, Gotoku Sakai, Takuma Asano and Hajime Hosogai have all donned the red and white of Stuttgart, while former VfB stars have left their mark on Japanese football too, including Buchwald and Cacau (at Cerezo Osaka), as well as Carlos Dunga, Horst Köppel and Mitchell Langerak, who still plays there.

Successful trip to Japan

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *