The German League has witness an influx of Japanese player after the World Cup. Such is their rise in stock that it has become a shopping centre German football clubs. Germany is fast becoming a hub for Japanese football players – a kind of stop gap scenario before moving any other European clubs. Shinji Kangawa is the most recent success stories. Part of the Borrusia Dortmund‘s recent back to back winning of the league title. Quite surprising he did not make the World Cup but his exploits with Dortmund has led to the influx of Japanese players in the league. The romance between the 2 countries did not just start. It all started way back in 1977; Yasuhiro Okudera was the first Japanese to taste the experience of the Bundesliga.He played for FC Cologne and was part of the team that reached the Semi Finals in 1979. He scored against eventual winners - Nottingham Forest. He later went on to player for Hetha Berlin and Werder Bremen.
As highlighted above the success story of the Japanese at least in this era would not be complete with Shinji Kagawa.He commenced his proffesional career with his homeland club Cerezo Osaka, before moving to Germany.His stay in Germany was a massive success, winning the Bundesliga with Borrusia Dortmund twice before making a dream move to Manchester United. Kagawa is known for his good vision, technique and incisive passess.Such was the success of Kagawa that opened the door for other Japanese.For a player that cost 350,000 euro Dotmund must be extremely pleased after smiling to the bank with a whooping £17m,Currently there are nine Japanese playing in the top tier of the Bundesliga, 3 joined this season and the question now remains,would there be an add pressure on the Japanese to replicate Kagawa success since he has already set a standard.
Takashi Inui ( Eintracht Frankfurt) 24
Cerezo seems to be the breeding club for the japanese import, Takashi moved from this club to start his European football adventure. He joined the second Tier club Vfl Bochum,his first season was a success playing about 30 games and scoring 7 goals in the process. His outstanding performance did not go unnoticed.At the end f his first full season, he was signed on by newly promoted Eintracht Frankfurt. He has being quite intrumental to Frankfurt's success this season.The team lies in an enviable 4th position,Takashi would not have imagined that Champions League could be knocking on the door. He is very good with inch perfect incisive passes, can hold on to the ball and enjoys cutting in and he endowed with exceptional technical abilty.
Hiroki Sakai( Hannover 96) 22
A young right back that has still got some years ahead of him, he joined the club in the summer,was part of the Japanese football team to the London 2012 Olympics. He has already played about 7 international games for his country. He is quite fast,a 6 feet defender, that gives him an added advantage. He has been restricted to very few games this season as he is still number 2 to the club captain Steve Cherundolo in the right pecking order . Cherundolo is 33 years and Sakai will certainly be the player to step into his shoes.
Hiroshi Kiyotake( Nuremburg) 23
Another talent who could be in the mold of Shinji Kagawa,he has been part of the mix for Nuremburg this season, playing in his first full season of the German league, he has settled in quite comfortable as an attacking midfielder. has played in as many games this season .Kiyotake was bought by Cerezo Osaka as a direct replacement for German bound Kagawa.His contribution to the Japanese under 23 team was immense, as he was able to put in pass that split apart a team,He has got an excellent shot and could curl shot with either foot. He is one of the major creative force for Nuremburg this season . He might be hard to keep beyond at the very most 2 seasons.
Takashi Usami (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim) 20
Definately one for the future,currently on loan from Japanese Giant Gamba Osaka, having been loaned out to Bayern Munich last season, the young player would be looking to make his move to Hoffenheim a permanent one. Was part of the Japanese olympic team, the technically gifted player has played 13 games starting 4 from the bench.
Atsuto Uchida (Shalke 04) 24
He made his move to Shalke in 2010, he was part of the Shalke team that got to the the semi finals of the UEFA Champions League. He became the first Japanese player to play for a team in the Champions League semi finals. He has played as many as over 50 games for the German outfit. he started 12 games this season, though he was taken off in the game against Freiburg as he was to blamed for the first goal conceded in the first half, other than that he has being a relative success.
Hajime Hosogai (Leverkusen) 26
The Japanese Defensive midfielder joined Bayer Leverkusen in 2011 but was loaned to Augsburg who were playing in the 2nd division, the hard working defensive midfielder was brought back to Leverkusen ahead of the 2012/13 season. The Japanese player that has been credited for his high work rate has played 12 games this season would be excited at the prospect of playing in the Champions league next season.
Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg) 28
He would be proud to have won the Bundesliga with Wolsburg in the 2009/2010 season. He is currently playing in his 4th season with Wolfsburg and the captain of the Japanese national team.The midfielder has played over 100 games for his club and is already seen as a legend within the club.