Japanese soccer player “Genki Haraguchi”, his career and style of play

This time, I introduce the career, play style and position of Japanese wide midfielder and attacking midfielder “Genki Haraguchi” who is a member of Japan national football team. 

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Name:Genki Haraguchi (原口元気)

Nickname : Genki

Date of birth:May 9, 1991

Place of birth: Kumagaya(熊谷市), Saitama(埼玉県), Japan(日本)

Height:179 cm、Weight:68  kg

Dominant foot: Right foot

Position: Wide midfielder, attacking midfielder and defensive midfielder

Current club: Fortuna Düsseldorf (2.Bundesliga)

Early career

Haraguchi joined Konan-minami football club in Saitama in childhood and contributed to the team’s victory at the 2003 Japanese Boys’ Football Tournament who participated as the main member of the team. Especially in the finals he recorded six goals and seven assistants. Incidentally, Yosuke Ideguchi’s older brother has played against Konan-minami football club in Saitama where Haraguchi was, and Ideguchi’s mother who saw this match thought that his son “Yosuke” should play soccer with in a higher quality environment.

Urawa Reds Diamonds belonging to the J-League who was interested in his overwhelming success and ability, joined him to their junior youth team. As soon as Haraguchi joined the Junior Youth Team, he demonstrated his abilities and he joined the youth team. Media began to pay attention to his trend from this time, and when he was promoted to the senior team was discussed in newspapers and news. 

On May 23, 2008 he was promoted to the senior team and made a debut at the J – League Cup match against Nagoya Grampus Eight on May 25. Debut at the age of 17 was also quite early in the J League. One of the reasons the Urawa Reds Diamonds made Haraguchi ‘s debut earlier was said to have been that the club had considered offers to him from FC Bayern Munich.  In the same year held in the Takamado-no-miya Cup (the club youth team and high school team tournament), the Urawa Reds Diamonds’ youth team went to the final and Haraguchi recorded 1 goal and 2 assists and contributed to the team’s victory. Also in this tournament was Yuya Osako, Gotoku Sakai, Takashi Usami, Hotaru Yamaguchi and Hiroki Sakai who later became Japan national players.

Club carrer

Urawa Reds Diamonds

Haraguchi signed a professional contract with the senior team in January 2009 due to its success in the youth team. He played as a starting player in the opening match of the J League held on March 7, and he played a main player of the team as a team throughout the season. His score in this season was 39 matches and 2 goals. 

In the 2010 season he often took part in the middle of the match, but his final result was 34 matches and 4 goals. 

 

In the 2011 season, Haraguchi has completely become the main player of the team. His grades were 35 matches and 11 goals. 

 

His grade dropped from the previous season, and the result was 37 matches and 6 goals.

 

In the 2013 season, he demodulated and his grade was 37 matches and 11 goals. 

 

In the season of 2014, he transferred to Hertha Berlin belonging to German Bundesliga on the way of the season.

Hertha BSC

Haraguchi moved to Hertha BSC belonging to German Bundesliga. At the time, this team belonged to a Japanese player Hajime Hosogai. He often entered the match from the middle of the first half of the season, but in the second half of the season he became the starting player. After all, his record was 23 matches and 2 goals. 

In the 2015-2016 season, he continued to play many matches as before the previous season, with his final result being 37 matches and 3 goals. 

In the 2016 – 2017 season, as Haraguchi became a major player of the Japanese national team, he was more likely to have had fatigue accumulated at national match. Therefore, his record slightly dropped compared to the previous season, 33 matches and 1 goal. 

Prior to the 2017 – 2018 season, Haraguchi was considering transferring to English Premier League club that was longing for. It was said that the club that actually showed interest in his acquisition was Brighton & Hove Albion F.C., but the transfer was not carried out. The team managers initially removed Haraguchi from the starting player because he was considering transferring. In the Bundesliga matchweek 7 of October 1, 2017 against FC Bayern Munich, Haraguchi participated in the match for the first time as a starting player. In this match he demonstrated a sensational play that dribbled past 3 German national players (Jérôme Boateng, Joshua Kimmich and Mats Hummels) with assistance to ally’s goals. 

On January 23, 2018, Haraguchi joined Fortuna Düsseldorf of 2. Bundesliga on loan until the end of the season. In addition, there is Takashi Usami who is a member of Japan national football team in this club.

Fortuna Düsseldorf

Haraguchi played in 6 games at Fortuna Düsseldorf and recorded 1 goal and 2 assists. He and Usami’s success was one of the factors promoting the club to 1. Bundesliga.

International career

Haraguchi was elected Japan representative of the AFC U – 19 Championship held in 2008 and participated in the middle of a match against the Yemen of the first game of the group stage. He could not score, but the team defeated Yemen 5 – 0. U-19 Japan Team passed the group stage with 2 wins and 1 draw, but lost to Korea in the quarterfinals. This team has Shinji Kagawa, who later became the main force of the senior team. 

After that, Haraguchi was active in the Asian qualifying of Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London, but was not elected as a member of the Olympic Games. Ironically, the Japanese national team without him advanced to semifinals. There were many players who regularly became senior team later, such as Maya Yoshida, Hiroki Sakai, Kenyu Sugimoto, Takashi Usami, Hotaru Yamaguchi and Hiroshi Kiyotake. 

As Haraguchi was evaluated for success in Hertha Berlin, he became to be convened continuously to the senior team. And to be surprised, he scored four goals in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Third Round consecutively. It is not an exaggeration to say that thanks to his score, Japan could participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia. 

Haraguchi was elected Japan representative to participate in 2018 FIFA World Cup. He played as a starting player in the group stage against Colombia and Senegal. In both matches he played on the right wide midfilder.

style of play

First of all, please watch this video.

[ Haraguchi’s play at the friendly match Liverpool FC held on July 29, 2017 ] 

[ Haraguchi’s play at the Bundesliga matchweek 7 of October 1, 2017 against FC Bayern Munich ] 

[ The practice of the dribble technical ] 

Haraguchi’s style of play is summarized below.

・Haraguchi’s dribble technique is very good.

・Haraguchi makes a devoted defense.

・Haraguchi is not good at trapping, especially when the opponent’s defense player pressed him.

Position

Haraguchi’s position is the most popular wide midfielder or wiger on the left in formation 4-2-3-1, 4-1-4-1 and 4-3-3. In addition, he sometimes plays with attacking midfilder and right wide midfilder.

Same-year players

The players of the same age of Haraguchi are as follows.

Name Nationality Date of birth
Davide Santon Italy 1991/1/2
Eden Hazard Belgium 1991/1/7
Alex Sandro Brazil 1991/1/26
Sergio Canales Spain 1991/2/16
Jack Rodwell England 1991/3/11
Felix Kroos Germany 1991/3/12
Antoine Griezmann France 1991/3/21
Rodney Sneijder Netherlands 1991/3/31
Gai Assulin Israel 1991/4/9
Thiago Alcântara Spain 1991/4/11
Lorenzo Insigne Italy 1991/6/4
Gaël Kakuta France 1991/6/21
Victor Wanyama Kenya 1991/6/25
James Rodríguez Colombia 1991/7/12
Andros Townsend England 1991/7/16
Federico Macheda Italy 1991/8/22
Oscar Brazil 1991/9/9
Roberto Firmino Brazil 1991/10/2
Xherdan Shaqiri Swiss 1991/10/10
Jeffrey Bruma Netherlands 1991/11/13

Summary

I was very surprised when I first saw Haraguchi’s play, because he was still a teenager but a dignified play. A few years later, he was convened to the national team and scored the goal of four consecutive games in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Third Round. And he became an indispensable player for the Japanese team. In addition, his rival in the Japanese team is Takashi Inui belonging to SD Eibar (La Liga). Although Inui is more aggressive than Haraguchi, he does not devote much to defense as much as Haraguchi.

Yours sincerely, 

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