The Asahi Shimbun leads with the story that one of the leading players in Japanese women’s football, Mizuho Sakaguchi, will be transferring from Albirex Niigata Ladies to their L.League rivals NTV Beleza. The 24 year-old midfielder, who was an indispensable part of the national team which lifted the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will aim to continue the dominance of Beleza, who have claimed the title a record eleven times, with seven championships coming in the last eleven seasons.
The newspaper also confirms that the three trophies collected at the 2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala will be on display in the Japan Football Association Museum. The FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year and the FIFA Fair Play Award trophies will be available for public viewing until 29 May.
As reported yesterday, Keisuke Honda’s mooted transfer to SS Lazio is still to be resolved, according to The Daily Yomiuri. The report, using the Russian sports daily Sport Express as a source, confirms that the negotiations are ongoing but an agreement is yet to be reached.
And finally, news on Japan’s overseas players is the order of the day for The Daily Mainichi, starting with Samurai Blue Shinji Okazaki’s VfB Stuttgart side falling to a 3-1 defeat away to Atsuto Uchida’s FC Schalke 04. The Schalke right-back played for the full 90 minutes, while Okazaji made an appearance as a 73rd minute substitute, netting a consolation goal for Stuttgart in the 87th minute and bringing his total to four for the season. Gotoku Sakai was an unused substitute for Stuttgart.
Elsewhere, the midfielder Makoto Hasebe was left on the bench as his VfL Wolsburg side scored a late winner to take all three points against FC Cologne in a 1-0 victory, while Hajime Hosogai was named in the FC Augsburg team which fell to a 1-0 defeat away to SC Freiburg following an 88th minute winner scored by Matthias Ginter.