After the 2-1 win over Germany on the first day of Group E, Ko Itakura (25) was still over the moon about the Japanese team’s dream start to the World Cup.
However, on Sunday in the 0-1 defeat in the second group game against Costa Rica, Itakura and Co gambled away the brilliant starting position for progression, but at the end of the group on Thursday (8 p.m.) against Spain they cannot afford another defeat .
Itakura didn’t have the best day against Costa Rica either, getting a yellow card after 84 minutes for a foul on Oviedo. In the success over Germany, the Gladbach-Japanese had excelled, in addition to a strong defensive performance, he also prepared Asano’s 2-1 winning goal.
Nevertheless – on ZDF Itakura received a lot of praise from his Gladbach teammate and ZDF expert Christoph Kramer (31)!
Kramer: „The Japanese are all incredibly likeable and nice. Ko is also such a likeable little fellow. And he’s really good. A Japanese player isn’t actually known for being the classic, tough central defender. But Ko is very strong in the air and has a great build-up game. I’m a huge Ko Itakura fan.”
Kramer then even revealed a cabin secret. And chatted out what distinguishes Itakura from his predecessor Matthias Ginter (28, moved to Freiburg in the summer). The Japanese had not only taken over Ginter’s place on the pitch in central defence. But also in the Borussia cabin…
Kramer: “He’s sitting next to me in the changing room. It’s also totally neat. Before that Matthias Ginter was sitting there, something always fell over it, it was a bit exhausting. Ko always tidies up his place – and mine too. I really like him as the seat neighbor.”
Not just as neighbors. Kramer is also looking forward to Itakura being fit again after tearing his inner ligament at the World Championships. And he can be back on the pitch together with the Japanese in the second half of the season at Borussia.