With the Asia cup being played this month our German correspondent takes a look at the Bundesliga and the impact of one Asian player is having in this big European League. Explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the post.
This weekend the Asia Cup reaches its climax. Australia and Japan will go head to head in the final. Sadly though there is one player who won’t be taking the field, and his absence has been widely reported in the Bundesliga. His name is Shinji Kagawa, and his season so far has captured the imagination of all German football fans.
Kagawa was plucked from then J2 team Cerezo Osaka for a small fee by Borussia Dortmund, and on his arrival in Germany many questioned the logic behind such a signing. He is small, skillful and pacy, but with little big game experience in Japan, let alone internationally, it was feared that he would not be able to settle into the demands of such a big club. The be truthful, most had never hear of him.
Remember that Dortmund is one of the Bundesligas biggest clubs. So when Kagawa announced pre-match that he would score two goals against archrival Schalke 04, and he then went on to score twice in a game Dortmund won, he instantly became one of the fan’s favorites.
Since then several other Japanese players have joined Bundesliga clubs.
But now his season is over, and discussions are whether Dortmund can maintain their title challenge without him. Their main challengers are Bayern and Leverkusen, but I feel Dortmund will win. Viel Spass beim Fussball.
go head to head: meet in a match, play against each other
pluck: (in this context) buy, hire, get
settle: become used to, find your rhythm