Eintracht Frankfurt’s Kamada before seeing Götze again

ESuccess makes you self-confident. Daichi Kamada didn’t fly to the desert for this particular World Cup just to go on vacation right after the preliminary round. “Our goal is the quarter-finals,” said the Eintracht professional in Qatar, where he will play together with his Japanese compatriots this Wednesday (2 p.m in the FAZ live ticker for the World Cup, in the ARD) meets Germany in the first group game. For Kamada, there could well be a sporting reunion with Frankfurt playmates. While goalkeeper Kevin Trapp only sits on the bench, offensive player Mario Götze has a good chance of being used by national coach Hansi Flick against Kamada and Co.

The 26-year-old Kamada is one of the winners of the very successful Eintracht year 2022. The Japanese has achieved another boost in performance. Particularly pleasing in addition to brilliant moments and important goals: Kamada shows hardness. In past seasons he avoided many a duel from the start without a fight – not anymore. Kamada sprints, fights and straddles, doesn’t lose a ball. An exemplary attitude that can have an effect. While Kamada was not present at the promotional tour of his Frankfurt employer at home because of his participation in the World Cup, three other teammates used the trip to the Far East to make a comeback.

It was part of Coach’s plan Oliver Glasner, to offer the Eintracht pros Aurélio Buta, Jérôme Onguéné and Almamy Touré a stage. Despite the two defeats in the two friendlies against the Urawa Red Diamonds (2:4) and Gamba Osaka (1:2), Glasner was satisfied with the performance of the squad. Young and old, ambitious and experienced played together – and it made Glasner confident that the trio, who had been injured for months, was finally on the ball again. It was the first time this season for 25-year-old right-back Buta, as well as for central defender Onguéné, who is a year younger. Touré, the eldest of the trio at 26, made three appearances in the Bundesliga, where he had to take a three-month break after being injured on the second day of the game at Hertha BSC before Glasner beat him 4-2 in the Bundesliga sent the final minute into the game for a mini mission.

For Buta, the journey followed Japan equal to winning the lottery. The Angola-born defender, who also has Portuguese citizenship, has been out of work for almost a year. He told the club’s media in Japan: “It feels good because I haven’t played for a long time. It’s really good for me to be able to play and train with the team.” However, one shouldn’t expect miracles from Buta: “I’m improving little by little. With every training session, the rhythm slowly comes back.”

Buta, Onguéné, Touré and the rest of the Frankfurt tour company received a lot of praise after the trip to the Far East. Sport director Markus Krösche said: “I take my hat off to the players, how they accepted the tour despite jet lag and travel stress and how they represented Eintracht Frankfurt in a worthy way. Not only were we welcomed everywhere with open arms, but at the same time we exemplified what characterizes this association, among other things: closeness and cosmopolitanism.”

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