KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 – Former Japanese international, Masashi Motoyama has arrived to don Kelantan United FC in the Premier League 2021.
He is currently in quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic but is eagerly waiting to meet his new fans – knowing that Kelantan football fans are a crazy lot and faithful to their team.
Age is not a factor for the midfielder although he is 41 years old and Kelantan United FC believes he is their ace in the pack and is banking on the Japanese to be the main drawcard in the team that has been rebuild for the new season.
Motoyama was a member of the Japanese national team that won the AFC Asian Cup in 2004.
He was also Japan’s key player when he helped his country finish runners-up in the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championships.
In the J-League, Motoyama was the star for Kashima Antlers – making 365 appearances from 1998-2015, according to statistics available.
His sponsors, Yakult (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd in a statement released on behalf of the player said: “I can’t wait to join my new team. I also can’t wait to meet Kelantan United FC fans. Thank You for all the support.”
Kelantan United FC will have a strong Japanese flavor this year. Coach Akira Higashiyama, coached Kuching City FC last season and took the team to a creditable fourth place in the Premier League.
Also in the Kelantan United FC is midfielder Yuki Tanigawa who played for Kuching City FC last year.
Kelantan United FC had a reasonably good season last year and qualified for the Malaysia Cup where the team lost to Perak 4-0 in Ipoh in a first-round match. In the Premier League, the team finished in eighth place.
Yakult is a Japanese sweetened probiotic milk beverage in Malaysia.