Southeast Asia Indonesia

Cerezo’s Matsuda Twins Declare Willingness to Play for Timnas Garuda

Cerezo Osaka striker Riki Matsuda have declared that he’s willing to play for the Indonesia national team on Monday after receiving countless of messages from Indonesians asking him to play for the Timnas Garuda on social media. Additionally, Riki revealed that his twin brother, Cerezo right-back Riku Matsuda, is also willing to play for the Indonesia national team someday in the future.

Both Riki and Riku, despite being Japanese nationals, are eligible to represent Indonesia as they have Indonesian heritage thanks to their father being an Indonesian national. This meant that when called upon, both Riki and Riku are able to play for the Indonesia national team in international matches, especially with the fact that the duo were yet to be called by the Japan national team.

Riki started to attract the overwhelming attention of Indonesian football fans after displaying the Indonesia flag emoji in his Instagram bio, with the comments in his posts and his direct messages inbox being flooded by fans asking Riki to play for the Indonesia national team. And much to everyone’s delight, Riki wasn’t irritated at all by those requests. On the contrary, as the Japan national team have overlooked both him and his twin brother, Riki was delighted with the prospect of playing underneath Shin Tae-yong at the Timnas Garuda.

“I’ve received a lot of messages from Indonesian football fans on Instagram. Of course they knew about my background, they want me and my brother to represent the Indonesia national team,” Riki said, as quoted from Goal and Skor, “Together with my brother, we’re willing to play for the Indonesia national team, if we have the chance to represent the Indonesian flag.”

Both Riki and Riku were born on July 24th 1991 and the two 29-year olds started their footballing journey together at the Biwako Seikei Sport College. The twins went on separate paths for their professional careers though, with Riku signing for FC Tokyo in 2014 and Riki starting off at Oita Trinita in 2013. Riku then headed for Cerezo in 2016, while Riki made a reputation of a journeyman in Japanese football. After spending one year in Oita, Riki had played for Nagoya Grampus, JEF United Chiba, Avispa Fukuoka, and Ventforet Kofu, before being reunited with Riku at Cerezo in 2021.

Other than Riki and Riku, another Japanese-Indonesian player have declared his willingness to play for the Indonesia national team. Nagano Parceiro goalkeeper Ryu Nugraha, currently on loan at Fukui United, have registered himself at both clubs as an Indonesian player, providing him with an opportunity to represent the Timnas Garuda in the near future.