Interview with Akio Tani: A Goalkeeper’s Journey to Europe
It has been announced that Gamba Osaka’s goalkeeper, Akio Tani, will be embarking on a new chapter in his career. He is set to be transferred on a limited basis to FCV Dendel EH, a team in the Belgian second division. Tani had recently solidified his position as a regular player at Shonan Bellmare, where he showcased his talents during the Tokyo Olympics. Given his exceptional performance, he was even selected to represent Japan. With such high expectations, many wondered why Tani made the decision to go abroad just six months after returning to Gamba Osaka. In an exclusive interview, we delve into the goalkeeper’s motivations and aspirations.
Stepping Onto the European Stage
In mid-July, Tani received the news through his agent that he was likely to receive an offer from abroad. Without hesitation, he decided to take on this new challenge. There were two primary reasons guiding his decision.
First and foremost, Tani had intended to seek a transfer abroad this summer ever since he made the choice to return to Gamba Osaka. It was a strategic move based on European regulations. The club was also aware of his dreams.
“Above all, my priority was to become a goalkeeper who could provide unwavering strength to Gamba Osaka, the club I have been part of since my childhood, and lead them to victory,” Tani explained.
With Yoriaki Higashiguchi, a trusted and remarkable goalkeeper, occupying an indispensable position at Gamba, Tani knew that winning the goalkeeper competition and securing a spot on the field wouldn’t come easy. However, he believed that striving for such achievements would foster his growth. Looking back, Tani describes the past six months as a truly meaningful period in his career.
Simultaneously, Tani felt that it was crucial to challenge himself overseas, given his professional journey. Regardless of whether he stayed with Gamba or not, the young goalkeeper had his sights set on playing for a European club.
“Some may argue I have ample time ahead of me, being only 22, and that I still have three years until the next World Cup. However, in my mind, I’m already 22, and the clock is ticking with only three years left. It was in this scenario that I strongly felt the urgency to embark on this challenge as soon as possible,” Tani confessed.
Rare Opportunity for Goalkeepers
Transfers abroad have become increasingly common for Japanese players, but mainly for outfield players. The same cannot be said for goalkeepers, particularly in recent years, as Tani was well aware. Therefore, when the opportunity presented itself, he felt compelled to seize it, recognizing that luck and timing played crucial roles in such endeavors.
“Transfers aren’t limited to just moving to foreign clubs; it’s about having the right circumstances and making the most of them,” Tani reflected.
Akio Tani’s decision to leave Gamba Osaka for FCV Dendel EH in Belgium marks a significant milestone in his career. The young goalkeeper’s determination and aspiration to compete on the European stage and push his limits are commendable. As his journey unfolds, all eyes will be on Tani as he embraces this new adventure and continues to make his mark in the world of football.
Interview with Akio Tani (Part 1)
It has been announced that Gamba Osaka goalkeeper Akio Tani will be transferred on a limited basis. The destination is FCV Dendel EH in the Belgian second division. He became a regular at Shonan Bellmare, where he played until last season. During that time, he made great strides in the Tokyo Olympics as the guardian god of the Olympic team, and was selected to represent Japan. For that reason alone, expectations were high that he would play an active role at Gamba, which he returned to after four years, but went abroad in just half a year. why did he make that choice? Before crossing the sea, I hit him directly and heard what was in his heart.
Akio Tani, who is also expected to play an active role in the Japanese national team See photos related to this article In mid-July, when Akio Tani first heard through his own broker that he was likely to receive an offer from abroad, he decided that the stage in which he would compete would be the team It is said that he is determined to “take the challenge” without asking his name. There are two reasons.
The first is that, since I decided to return to Gamba Osaka, I have been aiming to transfer abroad in the timing of this summer, based on the European regulations. It seems that the intention was conveyed to the club as well.
“Everything is just an extension of my success in the team, so my first priority was to become a goalkeeper who can give me solid strength in gamba, something I have grown up with since I was a child, and bring victory.
At Gamba, Higashi-san (Yoriaki Higashiguchi) is an absolute presence that everyone trusts, and I knew it wouldn’t be easy to win the goalkeeper competition and stand on the pitch. But, I was thinking that I could grow by asking myself to do that, and I actually think that the last six months have been a very meaningful time for me.
On the other hand, given my career, I thought that if I received an offer from a European club this summer, I would take up the challenge. It doesn’t matter if you’re into a gamba game or not. People around me say, ‘I’m only 22’ and ‘I’ve got three years until the next World Cup,’ but to me, ‘I’m already 22,’ and ‘I’ve only got three years left .’ In that situation, I felt strongly that I had to take up the challenge as soon as possible.”
In recent years, it is not uncommon for Japanese players to transfer abroad, but that only applies to outfield players. It’s hard to say that the door to “abroad” is still wide open for GK.
Especially in recent years, when he has been regularly participating in the J1 league, Tani himself has been very aware of this. Under such circumstances, I thought I would like to seize the opportunity that first arrived because “transfers are not limited to foreign transfers, but there is luck and timing.” That’s the second reason.
#Gamba #Osakas #Akio #Tani #decided #challenge #show #Japanese #compete #League #Shueisha #sports #magazine #Sportiva #official #website #Sportiva #web