Kolkata: Soccer crazy fans of Kolkata may lose the opportunity to watch Japanese wonder kid Takefusa Kuba. Popularly known as Japanese Messi, Kuba might be rested for the last Group E encounter against New Caledonia at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday. According to a section of Japanese media travelling with the team to Kolkata, Coach Yoshiro Moriyama might be tempted to rest Kuba ahead of the knock out stages, in order to keep him fresh.
The 16-year old forward is the hottest property in world football having impressed the Barcelona scouts so much that he was signed for the La Masia academy at the age of 10. Kuba shone through his three years with the Catalan club. But the Spanish giants were found guilty of violating FIFA’s international transfer policy following which he was not eligible to represent the Catalan side.
Kuba has since returned to join FC Tokyo in the J-League. Despite his young age, the boy who has been dubbed as the “Japanese Messi’ has already become the lynchpin of FC Tokyo’s Under 23 reserve squad and in April this year became the youngest player to score in the J-League at 15 years, 10 months.
Kuba has already represented his country in the last edition of the FIFA U17 World Cup held in Chile. This will be his second U17 World Cup, a feat which is achieved by no one at this level. Only USA Captain Josh Sargent has represented his country in both the U20 & U17 World Cups.
The soccer buffs in the city will also keep an eye on No. 13 Keito Nakamura. The striker who plays for Mitsubishi Yowa SC has impressed everyone with his goal scoring ability.
The Japanese team arrived in Kolkata today afternoon from Guwahati and preferred to take rest. The Asian giants so far have 3 points from two matches. They thrashed Honduras 6-1 in the last match while losing to European heavyweights France 1-2.