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Maya Yoshida - Player Profile

Maya Yoshida - Player Profile

Maya Yoshida - Player Profile

What do we know about Maya Yoshida?

Maya Yoshida was born in Nagasaki, Japan in August 1988. He has played for three different clubs in three different countries during his career.

  1. Nagoya Grampus (Japan)
  2. VVV-Venlo (Holland)
  3. Southampton (England)
Yoshida against Arsenal's Mesut OzilYoshida started his career at Nagoya Grampus, where Arsenal's Arsene Wenger used to be manager. He scored the team's first ever goal in the AFC Champions League for Grampus, before moving to Holland at the end of 2009. In 2011, Yoshida scored with a bicycle kick straight from a corner, for Dutch team VVV-Venlo. The goal was voted 'Goal of the season 2011-12', in the Dutch Premier League.

Maya Yoshida moved to Southampton in August 2012. "To come to the Premier League has been one of my biggest dreams since I was a child," Yoshida said. "I am very grateful to be able to become a Saint.” He scored his first goal for the club against Sunderland, in November 2013.

What is Yoshida's style of play?

Yoshida is 1m89 tall – a good height for a central defender. But at the beginning of his career, for Nagoya Grampus, he played in midfield. When he was promoted to the first team in 2007, he moved to centre-back. The Southampton manager who signed him, Nigel Adkins, said: “Maya has a good physical presence.” But Yoshida does not depend only on his physique and is a very versatile player. Adkins also said: "He is comfortable on both the right- and left-hand side as he is good with both feet.” For that reason, Yoshida has also played at left and right back. 

What do we know about the Japanese national team?

Japan went to the World Cup for the first time in 1998, and have qualified for every World Cup since then, including the 2002 World Cup that was organised by Japan and South Korea. The first time they played in the Asian Cup was in 1988, but they have won it a record four times, the last in 2011. Japan won the bronze medal at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico. Maya Yoshida has played over 30 times for the Japanese national team. 

In Brazil, at the 2014 World Cup, Japan played Colombia, Greece and Ivory Coast in their group. Unfortunately they didn't win a game.

How popular is football in Japan?

Yoshida in action at Brazil 2014The incredible popularity of football in Japan began in 1993, when the Japan Professional Football League (The J-League) was formed. It was a fully professional league that attracted foreign players (for example Zico of Brazil, Gary Lineker of England and Salvatore Schillaci of Italy), and many more spectators than the old Japan Soccer League. Japanese football can now present excellent marketing opportunities. Maya Yoshida is on the cover of the FIFA 14 video game with Lionel Messi! "Hopefully it will encourage fans at home to pick up the controller and play as Saints!" Yoshida says.

Which other Japanese players have played in the Premier League?

Maya Yoshida is not the first Japanese player in the Premier League. The first was Junichi Inamoto, who was signed by Arsene Wenger, for Arsenal in 2000. Inamoto went on to play for Fulham, West Brom and Cardiff City. Other famous Japanese players to have played in the Premier League include:

  1. Hidetoshi Nakata (Bolton Wanderers)
  2. Ryo Miyaichi (Arsenal)
  3. Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United)

Shinji Kagawa became the first Japanese player to win the Premier League title in 2012/13.

What do we know about Southampton FC?

Yoshida warming upSouthampton FC began in 1885 as a church football team, which is why their nickname is ‘The Saints’. Their best position in the top division was in 1983-84 when they finished second. As a second division team, they won the FA Cup in 1976 in a famous final against Manchester United (1-0). Southampton is a city on the south coast of England.

 

Yoshida scored his first Premier League goal in February 2014 against West Ham, Getty

What did you understand?

 
Put the words together as quick as you can.

Can you put the words in the correct order?

Activity 1: In this activity, try to answer the questions to show how much of the article you understand.

 


 

How much did you understand?
Activity 2: Have a go at this game against the clock. Can you put the words in the right order?

 


 

Did you know......?

  • Maya Yoshida is a centre-back, but wears the number 3 at Southampton, the number traditionally worn by a left back.
  • Yoshida’s favourite food in England is apple pie and custard.
  • Football in Japan is often called ‘sakkā’, a word which comes from the English ‘soccer’.
  • The symbol of the Japan Football Association is a mythical bird with three legs called the ‘Yatagarasu’.
  • The nickname of the Japan national team is ‘Samurai Blue’, or a combination of the name of the coach and the name of the country, e.g. ‘Zaccheroni Japan’, or ‘Zac Japan’ (The Japanese coach is Italian: Alberto Zaccheroni).
Maya Yoshida and Dider Drogba was an all Premier League clash at the World CUp, Getty

Quiz

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What do you think?

 
Maya Yoshida plays at centre-back for Southampton, but wears shirt number three.
Do you know any other players with shirt numbers that are not connected to their position on the pitch?
 
 

Leave a message in the comments section below and tell us your opinion :)

 

 

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Comments

Rema's picture
Rema
07/01/2015
RS
538
points

I know a lot of players with shirt numbers are not connected to their position on the pitch, for example Yaya Touré shirt number is 42.
Ten years ago (I think), that was the rule that shirt numbers must be connected with position on the pitch, for example number 9 is for striker.


Rema's picture
Rema
07/01/2015 14:47
Serbia
West Ham United
538

I know a lot of players with shirt numbers are not connected to their position on the pitch, for example Yaya Touré shirt number is 42.
Ten years ago (I think), that was the rule that shirt numbers must be connected with position on the pitch, for example number 9 is for striker.

aragorn1986's picture
aragorn1986
02/11/2015
ME
3424
points

Many players have different numbers that are not connected to their position on the pitch now. It was not the case one decade ago.


aragorn1986's picture
aragorn1986
02/11/2015 09:40
Montenegro
Arsenal
3424

Many players have different numbers that are not connected to their position on the pitch now. It was not the case one decade ago.

nikosonris
17/11/2015
UA
2453
points

I think now some players wear uncommon shirt numbers in connection to something personal or just to stand out.


nikosonris
17/11/2015 12:45
Ukraine
Arsenal
2453

I think now some players wear uncommon shirt numbers in connection to something personal or just to stand out.

aragorn1986's picture
aragorn1986
25/11/2015
ME
3424
points

Grealish in Villa number 40, Wilson in Man.Utd 47, Markovic in L'pool 50, Yaya Toure in City 42, Anelka in Chelsea 39..


aragorn1986's picture
aragorn1986
25/11/2015 21:47
Montenegro
Arsenal
3424

Grealish in Villa number 40, Wilson in Man.Utd 47, Markovic in L'pool 50, Yaya Toure in City 42, Anelka in Chelsea 39..

nikosonris
27/11/2015
UA
2453
points

Guys, which shirt number do or would you prefer to wear being a professional football player and why? Mine is No 8) 'cause I like dribbling and No 8 is shaped just the way I dribble)))


nikosonris
27/11/2015 11:42
Ukraine
Arsenal
2453

Guys, which shirt number do or would you prefer to wear being a professional football player and why? Mine is No 8) 'cause I like dribbling and No 8 is shaped just the way I dribble)))

assemjuve
01/03/2016
PS
3433
points

Balloteli wears number 45.


assemjuve
01/03/2016 12:59
Palestinian Territory
Liverpool
3433

Balloteli wears number 45.

HakanUslu1881's picture
HakanUslu1881
20/03/2016
TR
1750
points

Gheorghe Hagi used to wear number 10.


HakanUslu1881's picture
HakanUslu1881
20/03/2016 14:03
Turkey
Leicester City
1750

Gheorghe Hagi used to wear number 10.

kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
18/06/2016
GH
3657
points

Yes Henry Thierry used to wear number 14


kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
18/06/2016 23:27
Ghana
Manchester United
3657

Yes Henry Thierry used to wear number 14

kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
18/06/2016
GH
3657
points

Great impact he has had on his team


kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
18/06/2016 23:27
Ghana
Manchester United
3657

Great impact he has had on his team

kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
18/06/2016
GH
3657
points

I would like to wear number 9 jersey


kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
18/06/2016 23:29
Ghana
Manchester United
3657

I would like to wear number 9 jersey

kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
18/06/2016
GH
3657
points

Ronaldo used to wear jersey number 99 at AC-DC Milan


kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
18/06/2016 23:31
Ghana
Manchester United
3657

Ronaldo used to wear jersey number 99 at AC-DC Milan

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Goals

In this article, you will:

• Practise reading.

• Learn about Maya Yoshida and learn some new vocabulary.