Takefusa Kubo

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Takefusa Kubo
久保 建英
Kubo in 2019
Personal information
Full name Takefusa Kubo[1]
Date of birth (2001-06-04) 4 June 2001 (age 22)
Place of birth Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)[2]
Position(s) Right winger, attacking midfielder
Team information
Current team
Real Sociedad
Number 14
Youth career
2008–2009 FC Persimmon
2008–2010 Tokyo Verdy
2010–2011 Kawasaki Frontale
2011–2015 Barcelona
2015–2016 FC Tokyo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2016–2018 FC Tokyo U-23 34 (5)
2016–2019 FC Tokyo 19 (4)
2018Yokohama F. Marinos (loan) 5 (1)
2019–2022 Real Madrid 0 (0)
2019–2020Mallorca (loan) 35 (4)
2020–2021Villarreal (loan) 13 (0)
2021Getafe (loan) 18 (1)
2021–2022Mallorca (loan) 28 (1)
2022– Real Sociedad 56 (16)
International career
2015–2016 Japan U16 17 (11)
2016–2017 Japan U17 11 (4)
2016–2018 Japan U20 15 (3)
2018 Japan U21 2 (0)
2019–2021 Japan U23 16 (7)
2019– Japan 34 (4)
Medal record
Men's football
Representing  Japan
AFC U-19 Championship
Bronze medal – third place 2018 Indonesia
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23 February 2024
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 3 February 2024

Takefusa Kubo (久保 建英, Kubo Takefusa, born 4 June 2001), commonly known as Take Kubo, is a Japanese professional footballer[3] who plays as a right winger for La Liga club Real Sociedad and the Japan national team. He is dubbed "Japanese Messi" by Japanese football fans because of his potential and technique.[4][5]

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

At the age of seven, Takefusa Kubo started playing football for FC Persimmon, then moved to a local club based in his home city Kawasaki. In August 2009, he was awarded MVP at FC Barcelona Soccer Camp[6] in which he participated at the age of eight. In April 2010, he was selected as a member of FC Barcelona School team and participated in Sodexo European Rusas Cup held in Belgium. He was awarded MVP even though his team finished third. After returning home, he began to play for the Kawasaki Frontale junior youth team.

Barcelona[edit]

In August 2011, Takefusa Kubo had been invited to join FC Barcelona's youth Academy, La Masia, after passing the trial. He began to play for Barca Aleví C (U11). During his first full season (2012–13), he was top goalscorer in the league with 74 goals in 30 games. In his third full season (2014–15), he was promoted to Barca Infantil A (U14). The Spanish club was later found to have violated FIFA's international transfer policy for under-18 youths, making Kubo ineligible to play for the club. He returned to Japan in March 2015 in search of playing time, signing with FC Tokyo’s junior youth team.

FC Tokyo[edit]

Takefusa Kubo joined FC Tokyo U-18 team in 2016. In September 2016, he was promoted to the senior side at the age of fifteen. On 5 November, he made his formal debut for the reserve team in the J3 League as a halftime sub for match against AC Nagano Parceiro.[3][7] He made his professional debut at the J.League record of 15 years, five months and one day.

On 15 April 2017 Kubo became the youngest player to score in the J.League at 15 years, ten months in a 1–0 win over Cerezo Osaka U-23.[8] On 3 May, he top-flight debuted for the first-team in J.League YBC Levain Cup playing 25 minutes in a 1–0 win against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo. In November 2017, FC Tokyo announced an update to Kubo's contract improving it to pay him as a first-team member.

Yokohama F. Marinos (loan)[edit]

On 16 August 2018, he joined Yokohama F. Marinos on a half-year loan.[9] He immediately scored on his debut with Marinos in an away game against Vissel Kobe.[10]

From the start of the 2019 season, Kubo became a regular starter for FC Tokyo in both the J.League YBC Levain Cup and J.League scoring goals in both competitions.

Real Madrid[edit]

On 14 June 2019, Kubo signed with Spanish club Real Madrid on a five-year deal. Although registered with their U-19 team,[11] he had been expected to mainly play for Real Madrid B during the 2019–20 season.[12] However, he featured regularly with the first team during Real Madrid's preseason tour of the United States and Germany.[13][14]

Mallorca (loan)[edit]

On 22 August 2019, Kubo joined RCD Mallorca on a season-long loan.[15][16] He has become the third Japanese player in Mallorca's history after Yoshito Okubo and Akihiro Ienaga. On 1 September, he made his La Liga debut playing 15 minutes in a 2–0 loss to Valencia. He became the youngest Japanese player in the Top 4 European leagues history that has played in a match with a record of 18 years, 2 months, and 28 days.[citation needed] He scored his first goal on 10 November 2019 against Villarreal in a 3–1 victory. He later scored his second goal in an entertaining 3–3 draw to Real Betis on 21 February 2020. He then scored his third goal two weeks later in a 2–1 victory over SD Eibar.[17][better source needed]

Villarreal (loan)[edit]

On 10 August 2020, he was loaned to Villarreal CF until the end of the 2020–21 season.[18][19] After being mainly used as a substitute, his loan was cut short on 8 January 2021.[20]

Getafe (loan)[edit]

Immediately after leaving Villarreal, Kubo moved to fellow top-tier side Getafe CF on loan for the remainder of the season.[21][22]

Return to Mallorca (loan)[edit]

On 12 August 2021, Kubo rejoined RCD Mallorca on a season-long loan.[23][24]

Real Sociedad[edit]

On 19 July 2022, Kubo joined Real Sociedad on a permanent deal, becoming the first Japanese player to sign with the club.[25][26][27] Kubo marked his debut by scoring the only goal in a 1–0 win away to Cádiz in their opening game of the season in La Liga.[28] On 18 September 2023, Kubo's adept performance against his former club Real Madrid earned him recognition despite Real Sociedad's 2–1 defeat.[29][30] On 22 October 2023, Kubo was instrumental in leading Real Sociedad to a 1–0 win over Mallorca, earning the man-of-the-match title for his performance.[31][32]

International career[edit]

Kubo has been involved in Japan national teams from U-15 to senior level. At the age of fifteen, he was selected to the Japan U-20 national team for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.[33]

Shortly before turning eighteen, Kubo was named in the squad for the 2019 Copa América, which marked his first call up to the senior squad.[34] He made his debut on 9 June 2019 in a friendly against El Salvador, as a 67th-minute substitute for Takumi Minamino.[35] In July 2021, he was included in the 22-player squad of the under-23 team for the 2020 Summer Olympics.[36]

On 22 July 2021, Kubo scored Japan's first goal against South Africa in the 2020 Olympics.[37]

On 1 November 2022, Kubo was named in the Japan squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup,[38] where he started in the group stage victories over Germany[39] and Spain,[40] despite being subbed off early in both matches.

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 23 February 2024[41][42][43]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National cup[a] League cup[b] Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
FC Tokyo U-23 2016 J3 League 3 0 3 0
2017 J3 League 21 2 21 2
2018 J3 League 10 3 10 3
Total 34 5 34 5
FC Tokyo 2017 J1 League 2 0 0 0 2 0 4 0
2018 J1 League 4 0 0 0 6 1 10 1
2019 J1 League 13 4 0 0 3 1 16 5
Total 19 4 0 0 11 2 30 6
Yokohama F. Marinos (loan) 2018 J1 League 5 1 1 0 0 0 6 1
Real Madrid 2019–20 La Liga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mallorca (loan) 2019–20 La Liga 35 4 1 0 36 4
Villarreal (loan) 2020–21 La Liga 13 0 1 0 5[c] 1 19 1
Getafe (loan) 2020–21 La Liga 18 1 0 0 0 0 18 1
Mallorca (loan) 2021–22 La Liga 28 1 3 1 31 2
Real Sociedad 2022–23 La Liga 35 9 2 0 7[c] 0 44 9
2023–24 La Liga 21 7 2 0 7[d] 0 30 7
Total 56 16 4 0 14 0 74 16
Career total 208 32 10 1 11 2 19 1 248 36
  1. ^ Includes Emperor's Cup, Copa del Rey
  2. ^ Includes J.League Cup
  3. ^ a b Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  4. ^ Appearances in UEFA Champions League

International[edit]

As of match played 3 February 2024[44]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Japan 2019 7 0
2020 4 0
2021 2 0
2022 9 1
2023 7 2
2024 5 1
Total 34 4
Scores and results list Japan's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Kubo goal.
List of international goals scored by Takefusa Kubo
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 10 June 2022 Noevir Stadium Kobe, Kobe, Japan  Ghana 3–1 4–1 2022 Kirin Cup
2 15 June 2023 Toyota Stadium, Toyota, Japan  El Salvador 3–0 6–0 2023 Kirin Challenge Cup
3 21 November 2023 Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia  Syria 1–0 5–0 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification
4 31 January 2024 Al Thumama Stadium, Doha, Qatar  Bahrain 2–0 3–1 2023 AFC Asian Cup

Honours[edit]

Individual

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Squad list: Japan (JPN)" (PDF). FIFA. 15 November 2022. p. 16. Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  2. ^ "National Teams|JFA|Japan Football Association". www.jfa.jp. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b "久保 建英 Takefusa KUBO, referred to as 'Japanese Messi'" (in Japanese). J.League Data Site. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  4. ^ "He is finally here". Real Sociedad. 19 July 2022. Retrieved 9 December 2023.
  5. ^ "Real Madrid sign 'Japanese Messi' Kubo". the-AFC. Retrieved 10 January 2024.
  6. ^ "Kaptiva Sports Experience football". Kaptiva Sports Experience. Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  7. ^ "J. League Data Site". data.j-league.or.jp. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  8. ^ "C大23vsF東23のマッチレポート・動画(明治安田生命J3リーグ第5節:2017年4月15日):Jリーグ.jp" [The match report and the video of Cerezo Osaka U-23 vs FC Tokyo U-23 (Meiji Yasuda Seimei J3 league Sec 5, 15 April 2017)]. Jリーグ.jp(日本プロサッカーリーグ) (in Japanese). Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  9. ^ "久保建英選手 期限付き移籍加入のお知らせ". Yokohama F. Marinos. 16 August 2018. Archived from the original on 16 August 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  10. ^ "長友佑都、J1初ゴールの久保建英に驚きの声も「15歳で点取ってる化物がいた」 | Goal.com". Archived from the original on 27 August 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Kubo set to be registered by Real Madrid as youth team player". Diario AS. 17 July 2019. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Takefusa Kubo is a new Real Madrid player. He joins Castilla from next season". Real Madrid. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  13. ^ "Kubo: "I'm unhappy with the result but pleased to have made my debut"". realmadrid.com. 21 July 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Kubo: I signed for Real Madrid because they had a plan for my future". MARCA in English. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Kubo joins RCD Mallorca on loan from Real Madrid". rcdmallorca.es. 22 August 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Official Announcement: Kubo". realmadrid.com. 22 August 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  17. ^ "Takefusa Kubo makes LaLiga debut". CoolJapanSoccer. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Welcome Kubo!". villarrealcf.es. 10 August 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Official Announcement: Kubo". realmadrid.com. 10 August 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  20. ^ "Official announcement: Take Kubo". Villarreal CF. 8 January 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  21. ^ "Official Announcement: Takefusa Kubo". Real Madrid. 8 January 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  22. ^ "COMUNICADO OFICIAL: Take Kubo". getafecf.com. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  23. ^ "Official Announcement: Kubo | Real Madrid CF". Real Madrid C.F. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  24. ^ "Take Kubo returns to RCD psiskzizk Mallorca". rcdmallorca.es. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  25. ^ "Ya está aquí". Real Sociedad (in Spanish). 19 July 2022. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  26. ^ "Kubo becomes 1st Japanese player to join Real Sociedad". Real Sociedad (in Spanish). 19 July 2022. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  27. ^ "Official Announcement: Kubo". Real Madrid CF. 19 July 2022. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  28. ^ "Japan star Kubo nets winner on Real Sociedad debut". RFI. 14 August 2022. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  29. ^ "Real Madrid 2-1 Real Sociedad". ESPN. 18 September 2023. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  30. ^ "Takefusa Kubo's star performance not enough against Real Madrid". The Japan Times. 18 September 2023. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  31. ^ "Football: Kubo sets up winner as Sociedad beat Mallorca 1-0". Nippon. 22 October 2023. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  32. ^ "Takefusa Kubo sets up winner as Sociedad beats Mallorca". The Japan Times. 22 October 2023. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  33. ^ "U-20 Japan National Team squad, schedule – FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 (5/20-6/11)". JFA. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  34. ^ "Takefusa Kubo, 17, named to Japan's senior national squad for first time". Japan Times. 23 May 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  35. ^ "Japan v El Salvador game report". ESPN. 9 June 2019.
  36. ^ "U-24 Japan National Team Squad - Games of the XXXII Olympiad (Tokyo 2020)【7/21-8/7】, KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2021【7/12@Osaka, 7/17@Hyogo】". www.jfa.jp. Japan Football Association (JFA). 22 June 2021. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  37. ^ Football - Japan vs South Africa - Group A Results [1] Archived 21 July 2021 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ "Samurai Blue (Japan National Team) squad – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022". Japan Football Association. 1 November 2022. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  39. ^ "Germany stunned by late Japan comeback". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 December 2022.
  40. ^ "Japan and Spain both through on dramatic night". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 December 2022.
  41. ^ "T. Kubo". Soccerway. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  42. ^ Nippon Sports Kikaku Publishing inc./日本スポーツ企画出版社, "J1&J2&J3選手名鑑ハンディ版 2019 (NSK MOOK)", 9 February 2019, Japan, ISBN 978-4905411628 (p. 50 out of 289)
  43. ^ Nippon Sports Kikaku Publishing inc./日本スポーツ企画出版社, "2017 J1&J2&J3選手名鑑 (NSK MOOK)", 8 February 2017, Japan, ISBN 978-4905411420 (p. 82 out of 289)
  44. ^ "Takefusa Kubo". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  45. ^ "Takefusa Kubo named LALIGA EA SPORTS Player of the Month for September". La Liga. 6 October 2023. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  46. ^ "Equipo Revelación de La Liga 2019/20" (in Spanish). UEFA. 21 July 2020.
  47. ^ Japan Pro-Footballers Association awards
  48. ^ ""We've enjoyed a lot"". Real Sociedad. 12 June 2023. Retrieved 12 June 2023.

External links[edit]