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A genius striker and top scorer for the second year in a row
Got an offer from Yokohama F-Marinos

Mr. Kazuma Watanabe

"I have confidence in the accuracy of my shots," Mr. Watanabe said. He can predict his ball crashing home at the moment of kicking it. With his outstanding ball sense, he is often called a "genius" or "monster" in university soccer, but he showed us modesty, saying, "I'm not such a big person?just a normal young man."

When I asked him what he was like as a senior player in the Football Club, he laughed and said, "A kind player." As proof of his words, many teammates, regardless of their age call him "Kazuma" and are happy to approach him, not only in the field but also in the dormitory house. He is said to be a reliable player who encourages junior players in a slump and shows leadership during games. "Until last year, I concentrated on my own practice, but this year, unlike the past, I have to take the initiative of the club as a senior student." In the last school year, he and Shingo Hyodo, the previous captain, led the team in linkage play, that is, Mr. Hyodo sending passes and Mr. Watanabe charging home. They have been playing together since their Kunimi High School years, so they get along just fine, so much so that they can " feel" each other's movements. "The most important thing is the positioning of every player. That is the biggest issue for all of us."

He got an offer from Yokohama F-Marinos and plans to join them after graduation, as Mr. Hyodo did. "First, I'd like to aim at being a regular player who gives results. Actually, there are very few players who can get high scores, so I want to be a good scorer in front of the goal." He raised himself up, saying that he would have to think of soccer first in his life as a professional player. At the same, he has made the most of his school life, having gained teaching credentials and making many kinds of friends outside of the club.

"By entering university instead of a professional team after graduating from high school, I was able to build up a network of connections. Besides, I was able to have time to look at myself objectively." He began to play soccer under the influence of his brother Daigou in his childhood. Looking back at his past, he never got fed up or turned off by soccer. "I know I will continue playing soccer as long as I can." Through his four years in this university, Mr. Watanabe comes to think of it.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Mr. Kazuma Watanabe

Born 1986 in Nagasaki Prefecture. Graduated from Kunimi High School, Nagasaki. Fourth-year student at the School of Sports Sciences. He also belongs to the Sunao Uchida Laboratory. In 2004, he was a representative from Japan in the Asia Youth Championship U-19. In 2007, he was a representative from Japan in the 24th World University Games of FISU. Now he is a member of Waseda University Association Football Club, and he contributed to winning the first prize in the intercollegiate games in 2007. In 2006, he became a top scorer for the second year in a row in Kanto University League games in 2007. After graduation, he is set to be a member of Yokohama F-Marinos. His position is FW. All of his brothers are soccer players: his elder brother Daigou is a MF of Kyoto Sanga F.C., and his younger brother Mitsuki is a DF in Hosei University Football Team.