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Leave misunderstanding behind. Perhaps that was the great hope of Daichi Kamada (Ehime, 1996) when in the summer of 2018 he saw how a bewildered Eintracht Frankfurt, two years after paying 2.5 million euros for his signing, invited him to mature his football in Belgium. But not to any place, but to Sint-Truiden. The historic Belgian club, under the control of the Japanese e-commerce company DMM.com, had become the European hotbed for Japanese footballers struggling to advance their careers. Well Kamada took advantage of it. So much so that the current good fortune of Eintracht passes through his boots. Even more after the imminent sale to Juventus of the capitoste Philip Kosticwho did not travel to Helsinki.
“Kamada, who left the Sagan Tosu of the J. League (16 goals and 11 assists in 80 games) followed that path to Belgium that many Japanese soccer players do,” the Spanish coach points out for EL MUNDO Ricardo Rodriguez, who receives eminence on the Japanese benches and who was chosen as the best coach in Japan in 2021 after winning the Emperor’s Cup and the Japan Super Cup in his first season at the helm of Urawa Red Diamonds. “At Sint-Truiden, Kamada played as a striker. And his good performances (16 goals and nine assists in 36 games) allowed him to return to Eintracht later », continues Rodríguez. And not to be a complementary footballer, but a capital piece in the offensive structure of the current Europa League champion.
It has been the Austrian coach Oliver Glasner who has taken the most advantage of the Japanese midfielder, although without separating him from that marked contradiction and irregularity that accompanied Eintracht last season. The passionate fan of the Eagles, in fact, got used to joking about the mutation that Kamada suffered every time he moved away from the interwar routine to face a big European match. Kamada, in fact, scored more goals (five) in the 13 games played in the last Europa League than in the 32 that he played in the league tournament (four).
A little more or less than what happened to Eintracht, just eleventh in the last Bundesliga and 35 points behind the champion Bayern, but fierce in a Europa League in which the Frankfurt team emerged champion without losing a single game and after leaving in the gutter to Betis, Barcelona, West Ham and, already in the Sánchez Pizjuán final, to Glasgow Rangers (1-1) after a penalty shootout in which, by the way, Kamada did not fail.
Open field artistic football
«Eintracht’s 3-4-2-1 goes very well for Kamada’s style. He is a player with arrival, verticality and quality in the last meters”, points out Ricardo Rodríguez, who considers the drawing key for that artistic football that the midfielder exploits in the open field, but not so incisive with his team, Spain’s rival in the next Qatar World Cup: “Perhaps with Japan, as a playmaker in a 4-2-3-1, Kamada does not look so much.” “Although this does not mean that he is an important and well-known player in his country. More after winning the Europa League”, concludes Rodríguez.
Kamada, at 26 years old and despite the vague interest of some Premier League team, is one year away from the expiration of his contract with Eintracht. For now, the German club intends to extend his relationship with the Japanese player, even though the arrival of the revitalized Mario Götze could compromise his status as an offensive midfielder.
It does not seem that the arrival of the World Champion with Germany will disturb Kamada, who began this season by scoring two goals against Magdeburg in the victory of the first round of the German Cup (0-4), and who, by the way, was the The only one of Glasner’s capital players who did not put on his boots in the blushing 1-6 in the Bundesliga premiere against Bayern with which Eintracht confirmed that double face that Kamada intends to move away from.
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