Nagai eager for play in Belgium

Kyodo

Japanese Olympic team striker Kensuke Nagai said Monday he is hoping to use his lightning pace as a weapon after being unveiled by 10-time Belgian champions Standard Liege.

“Speed is my weapon and hopefully I can show that with my new club,” said Nagai, explaining to reporters that he can cover 50 meters in about 5.08 seconds.

“I feel ready for a new adventure,” he said. “With Standard I have the chance to play in the Champions League. That is the dream of every footballer.”

Nagai had Liege’s multilingual Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima helping with English translation at the news conference.

The 23-year-old, describing Kawashima as a “calming presence,” said he wanted to play in Belgium as compared to the German Bundesliga because only a few Japanese players ply their trade here.

“Unlike Germany there are not many Japanese here and that is why I wanted to play here.”