Keita, who is more familiar with the K-League than the J-League, “I like living in Korea… I work harder thanks to the fans”
Although he is a Japanese player, Keita, who entered the K-League before the J-League, became more immersed in life in Korea and Daegu FC football in the second year of the K-League.
Daegu’s left wingback Keita has a unique history. He participated in a European soccer camp at the age of 14 and played in Japan until high school, as he had decided, before moving to Montenegro to debut as a professional player on the European stage. And last year, he joined Daegu and moved to Korea.
As if it was not a coincidence that they stepped on the K-League stage before the J-League, they have characteristics suitable for the Korean stage. Run one step further, actively compete with opponents, and intercept the ball. It may not be flashy due to the nature of his position or play style, but he plays an indispensable role in the team.
As he adapts to the K-League, Keita’s role in the team is gradually increasing. After going back and forth between selection and replacement at the beginning of the transfer, starting from last summer, the frequency of starting appearances increased. In particular, the recent performance is compliant. Although he could not start the season due to an injury, he was replaced in the match against Gangwon FC in the 3rd round. Daegu coach Choi Won-kwon expressed his intention to use the two players wisely, saying, “Keita is doing well, too,” when Hong-cheol, the Korean national team defender, returned from injury in the same position.
Korean fans use the expression ‘passports must be confiscated so that foreign players do not leave’ when they perform well. In a written interview with Keita, he explained the meaning and asked if the current trend would mean that he should pay attention to passport management soon, and the answer came back, ‘(Laughter for 5 seconds)’. Keita thanked the fans for their support, saying, “I really like Korea and I like the Korean fans. I am always grateful for the good reviews and support. The fans’ praise is the driving force for me to work harder.”
The following is an interview with Keita.
– It has been over a year since you came to Korea. You must have gotten used to life in Korea by now.
Before coming to Korea, I lived in Europe (Montenegro) for a long time. Compared to Europe, it was easier to adapt to Korea. There were many similarities between Korea and Japan in terms of soccer and everyday culture, so there was no difficulty in adapting. 스포츠토토
– There are some players in Daegu who have experience playing in Japan. I think it helped me adapt on and off the pitch.
It was comfortable because there were players who played in Japan and could speak Japanese. I lost my mind Inside the stadium, defender Cho Jin-woo can speak Japanese, so we can communicate easily. Including the daily life, kit manager Kim Dong-kyu is helping me the most. Thank you.
– I wonder what it is like outside the arena. What do you usually do on your rest day?
I like to visit nearby restaurants and cafes to take a break. There are many good restaurants and cafes around Palgongsan Mountain in Daegu, so I visited often. Suseong Lake was also good. Outside of Daegu, I traveled to Gyeongju and Pohang. It was beautiful.
– This year, you are showing more progress than last season. Is there anything you prepared with more care during winter training in your second year?
I paid a lot of attention to the mental part. He entered his second year and decided to do better as he adapted to life in Korea. Technical efforts are important, but I thought that I needed to become stronger and change mentally as well.