Japanese football fans bid BVB farewell on a lap of honour
On Wednesday Borussia Dortmund will bid Japan farewell and head for Singapore - the second stop of the Asia Tour. The players have already collected some wonderful memories - particularly of the Japanese hospitality, which was clear for all to see after the 6-0 victory over Kawasaki Frontale.
They were encouraged to do a lap of honour and met with an enthusiastic reaction from the local supporters. At the end Shinji Kagawa took hold of a microphone and thanked the fans, who all wanted to take a selfie with the Japanese star on their mobile phones. It was also remarkable to see half the stadium decked out in black and yellow. Borussia Dortmund have many fans in Japan - and will leave the country with a lot of new ones too.
Thomas Tuchel has gained some sporting insights too. After the match the coach spoke about...
...Shinji Kagawa: "He had a longer holiday due to international commitments. Yesterday he completed the first training session with us. You could instantly see that Shinji is an absolutely top player. We're all going to try to get him playing his best football - the football the fans in Dortmund love him for. He provides the extra quality to be able to play an important role in our midfield."
...Japanese players in the Bundesliga: "Whether Okazaki in Mainz or Maruoka and Kagawa in Dortmund, they are making a great impression. They are very open, hard-working, focused and disciplined. It is a real pleasure to work with them."
...the match: "The opposition were very strong in the first half. Kawasaki had a lot of possession; for us it was a difficult period to ride out. We could see very quickly that they were fitter and already have 17 league games under their belt. We had trouble getting into our rhythm and finding space. We lost possession a lot and gave them a lot of chances to score."
...the status of preparations: "I'll compare it with the rehearsals of an orchestra, in which not every single musician can do what he wants of course. There needs to be the same idea, the same music serving as a framework for everyone, so that each person can show his individual talent. And it's this common framework that we're working on at the moment."
...the Asia Tour: "It is a good opportunity to get to know each other off the pitch, in quite a casual way rather than the classic setting of a coach's office. Perhaps that now makes it easier for one or two of the players to open up. The team is very focused and showed this today. This match simply reflected the impressions we already had." (br)