Ahmad Ali Scouting Report: Keisuke Honda – Japan & CSKA Moscow
Name: Keisuke Honda
Club: CSKA Moscow (Russia)
Honda moved to the Netherlands VVV Venlo in 2008 but the team was relegated. Honda decided to stay at the club and was made captain. He scored 16 goals in 36 games and was chosen as MVP of the second division. He started the 2009-10 season on fire and was soon moving to Russia CSKA Moscow for €9 million. Japanese fans and media are excited with his unique talent and character.
His experience in various level speaks loudly of his ability to shine anywhere he plays at. Japan coach Takeshi Okada has been criticised for not introducing the star to the national team earlier. Honda only made his full debut on March 3 against Bahrain. Japan now has a genuine European star, one who has momentum, energy and huge desire to perform on the global stage and now the confidence to do so.
Some reports in Japan have cast doubt on Honda’s ability to play for the good of the team, wondering whether his supposed ego could get in the way. The player himself merely says that “in Europe they tell me to shoot more, in Japan they tell me to defend.”
In their last group game of the World Cup 2010 against Denmark, where Japan has to win to confirm qualification to the round 16, Honda was outstanding. If the statistics were correctly read, he made and received passes from everyone in his team. That shows his ability to create space and make movement to receive and make the passes. He started the win against Denmark with a cracker of a goal from a long distance. Possibly the goal of the tournament. Japan’s second and third goal shows his unselfish side. He let Endo take the freekick that lead to Japan’s second goal. For the third goal, he got the ball dead in the Dane’s penalty box, push forward and square back after inducing Sorensen. His square was met by Okazaki who had the easy task of scoring.