Tokyo: Around the lower tier of Tokyo Stadium, one banner among the many draped over the railings captures the sentiments in the suburbs of Japan’s capital on Saturday: “From Tokyo to the world” it said in Spanish as FC Tokyo’s fans bid a fond farewell to Real Madrid-bound Takefusa Kubo.
Kubo, the highly-rated superstar-in-waiting, had already played his last game for the Gasmen – a 3-1 win over Oita Trinita on June 1 – before inking a five-year deal with the Spanish giants and making his senior debut for the Japan national team at the Copa America in Brazil. It had been an eventful month for a player who only turned 18 on June 4.
That date, though, was significant as it meant Kubo was free to sign a deal that would take him back to Europe after a four-year absence, having returned to Japan in March 2015 following his release from FC Barcelona......
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