The Man Who Invited Me To The Football “Tribe” by Football Tribe Japan

by Ippei Tsuchiya, deputy editor of Football Tribe Japan

We, human beings, have some pivotal moments in our lives. And it often caused by someone who has extraordinary talent or fascinating personality or both of them.

In my case, it was 1998, I was seven years old and the year that Japan achieved two very important accomplishments in Japanese sports history. Firstly, Japan hosted Winter Olympic Games in February of that year, and Japanese Olympians won 10 medals in total. Winter sports are not so popular in my home town, but I prefer Winter Olympic Games more than Summer Olympic Games since then.

Secondly, Japanese football national team appeared in FIFA World Cup for the first time in Japanese football history. They lost all three group stage games, but they competed with Argentina, there were Gabriel Batistuta, Claudio Lopez and Juan Sebastian Veron, and Croatia, there were Davor Suker, Robert Prosinecki and Zvonimir Boban, bravery and the most importantly they gave me a chance to watch the world football.

It has been 20 years since I strayed into the mysterious, strange, fascinating football wonderland. Those two big events which be held in that year had an impact on my personality, love travelling and living in the foreign countries and love watching and doing sports, but in case of my football life, one man stunned me in that year, actually in 1998 World Cup, and he caused my pivotal moment.

Dennis Bergkamp is the man who changed my life. He is one of the best footballers in Dutch history. A lot of spectacular plays he made and one of them, a goal he scored against Argentina in 1998 World Cup semi-final, was absolutely astonishing. It gave me goosebumps and showed me the real football.

He is my football hero. It’s weird that I am not an Arsenal or Ajax fan, strangely I am a Betis fan, but he always give me inspirations, I imitated his plays many times as a child, and joy to play football.

Now I am still crazy about football, possibly it’s more than before, and working in the Football Tribe. It may also be said that I am in the Football Tribe because of him. When I look back this moment, I always feel like that life is strange and beautiful.

Dennis Bergkamp is the man who caused my pivotal moment and invited me to the football “tribe”.

Feel the Passion


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