In November 17 2016, Hamburger SV of the Bundesliga announced that Gotoku Sakai became the captain of the team. Hamburger have not win in ten league outings in 2016-2017 season, so the manager Markus Gisdol nominated Sakai for new captain. Sakai has participated in all matches this season, and joined the match of Japan national team in the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup 2 days in advance. He went back to Hamburg from the match and received a captain’s consultation from the manager. HSV have never demote to the second division, so this is a decision to stimulate the team.
Gotoku Sakai ‘s biography is that he’s the age of 25, and he was born at New York City. He began playing football from 10 years old, and joined in the cantera of the Albirex Niigata of the J-League. He broke into the first team in 2008 and began to play in the matches soon. He played as a central player of the defender and got 1 goal in 74 matches until 2011.
In December 2011, Sakai transfered of loan deal to the VfB Stuttgart of the Bundesliga. He played with Shinji Okazaki in the Stuttgart, and contracted with the team on a permanent deal in January 2013. He played as a FullBack and got 1 goal in 87 matches until 2014-2015 season. But Sakai didn’t play gradually, so he tranfered to the Hamburger SV on a permanent in July 2015. His transfer fee was 700 thousand euros and his salary was 1.2 million euros. He played in 33 matches in the meantime.
Gotoku Sakai was also active in Japan national football team. He played in 2012 London olympics and contributed to semi-finalist of U-23 Japan. After that, he was convened in the top team of Japan from 2012 and also selected to the team for 2014 Brazil World Cup. But he didn’t play in this time. After the world cup, Sakai played on behalf of Atsuto Uchida and became a central player of the Japan team. He married a Japanese woman in 2010 and has two daughters.
Actually, do you know that Sakai considered to enter the Germany national team? His mother is German, and the manager Joachim Low who saw Sakai’s success at the Stuttgart considered to select as the national team. By the way, Because Sakai was born in the New York City so he was able to choose the national team of Japan, Germany and the United States. Eventually, he choson Japan because he lived for many years and Japan is his father’s home country.
Then Sakai became the captain of Hamburger SV so he also became the Japanese captain for the first time in the four major leagues, Bundesliga, Liga Espanola, Premier League and Serie A. In the Eredivisie, Keisuke Honda had became the captain of VVV Venlo in 2008-2009 season and had contributed to the promotion of the team. So Sakai is expected to have similar success.
This youtube’s video is the interview of Sakai. He is fluent in German as well, so he will raise the sluggish team.