Friday, September 30, 2022

‘Japanese Messi’ breaks J-League goal record at 15

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Takefusa Kubo

Japanese media hailed wonderkid Takefusa Kubo on Sunday after he became the youngest scorer in the J-League at 15 with a super strike for FC Tokyo’s under-23 side.

At 15 years, 10 months and 11 days, Kubo fired the winner in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Cerezo Osaka’s under-23s in a J-League third division game to beat the previous mark.

That was held by Takayuki Morimoto, who scored for Tokyo Verdy two days shy of his 16th birthday in 2004 before going on to play in Italy.

Kubo, a former YouTube sensation dubbed the ‘Japanese Messi’ during his time as a pint-sized member of Barcelona’s youth set-up, broke the record in style, dribbling past two defenders before smashing the ball home from a tight angle.

“I’m just really happy — hopefully I can continue helping the team win like this,” Kubo told local media, with the popular Nikkan Sports daily likening the forward to Argentine and Barca wizard Lionel Messi in its match report.

“I don’t like being compared to Messi,” he added. “But one day I hope to be like him.”

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