Kakitani eager to succeed at Basel


Japan forward Yoichiro Kakitani said Tuesday that his principle reason for leaving Japan to play for Swiss club FC Basel was to get a taste of winning.

“Since I was a boy, I’ve dreamed of playing in the European Champions League,” Kakitani told a press conference. “But that is not my reason (for coming here). Because I never once experienced winning a title with Cerezo Osaka, I wondered what a team that has won five straight titles is like.”

Kakitani scored 21 goals for Cerezo in 2013, cementing a spot on the national team with his outstanding play. He wasn’t able to repeat his success this season, after Cerezo acquired 2010 World Cup star Diego Forlan, and left the club after scoring just once in 13 games.