Internet Desk: Japan football saw and showed a historic day as an unprecedented competition enthralled the entire world. The chaotic contest saw the three professional footballers kick the ball around while being chased by 90 young players with a further ten children crowding the goal line as goalkeepers. But despite being so heavily outnumbered, the professionals managed to get the first goal which was, perhaps unfairly, a header. In the footage, the children swarm after the professionals, chasing the ball.
The Japanese internationals start from one end of the pitch and dribble and pass their way to the other end, where a wall of children and goalkeepers await them. It’s gloriously messy, with kids running into each other and the pros in their enthusiasm to kick the ball as far away as possible from the net they’re defending.
One of the young goalkeepers can even be seen barking out instructions to his defenders, although its clear they didn’t quite listen to him. The professionals also seem mindful of kicking the ball too hard and hurting the child goalkeepers.
Unfortunately, the professionals come up with a solution by taking the aerial route. Bizarrely, the football match has become a new year’s tradition in Japan and sees three J League stars, the country’s top football division, take on 100 young players.
This year saw Japanese internationals Hotaru Yamaguchi, Hiroshi Kiyotake and Yosuke Ideguchi take on the children. Ideguchi scored the winning goal and looked delighted with his efforts. Some of the children, on the other hand, dropped to their knees in disappointment.