Havenaar wants to play in Europe


Japan striker Mike Havenaar said Monday he has his sights set firmly on a move to Europe next season after Ventforet Kofu was relegated to the second division.

“I have strong determination to play in Europe,” said the towering striker, who has been linked with Germany’s Stuttgart and Wolfsburg as well as Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem.

Havenaar, who broke into the Japan national team this year and scored twice in his first start in an 8-0 win over Tajikistan in a World Cup qualifier in October, was speaking after he was named to the J. League’s Best XI for the first time at Monday’s award ceremony.

Havenaar scored 17 goals this season to finish second in the scoring charts behind Australia striker Josh Kennedy.