Japan Asian Players in Europe

Takashi Usami credits good form to friendlier German fans

Fortuna Dusseldorf midfielder Takashi Usami has cited the warmth of the Espirit Arena faithful as a factor in his recent dynamite form, according to Gekisaka.

The 25-year-old has been on a tear through the 2.Bundesliga in recent weeks, scoring four goals and providing two assists over the last four rounds as the team maintains a five-point lead in the standings.

In an interview for the club’s matchday program, which was sold before he scored his third straight goal in a 2-1 win against St. Pauli, Usami was asked about the difference between Japanese and German supporters.

“In Japan (the players) were booed when we lost, or when we won but didn’t play well,” Usami responded. “German supporters, especially Fortuna supporters, applaud whether you’ve won or lost as long as you play hard.”

Usami cited the team’s DFB Pokal loss on October 24, in which teammate Niko Giesselmann missed a potentially game-tying penalty kick, as contributing to his way of thinking.

“When I saw the supporters tell [Giesselmann] ‘it wasn’t your fault,’ I thought it was a wonderful scene,” Usami said.

The former Gamba Osaka star, who previously played for Bayern Munich, Hoffenheim, and Augsburg, is awaiting a possible call-up for the Samurai Blue’s late-March friendlies against Mali and Ukraine.