IWAKI, FUKUSHIMA PREF. – Japan midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake said Saturday he is relishing the challenge of muscling his way into regular first-team contention after agreeing to join Spain’s Europa League champion Sevilla.
“Keeping in mind that the World Cup is in two years, it (Sevilla) is a great place to be challenging at,” Kiyotake said.
“Fierce competition for places awaits (at Sevilla) but I am determined to win,” added the 26-year-old.
Kiyotake is eyeing the No. 10 shirt to be vacated by Jose Antonio Reyes, who is reportedly joining Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray, and is targeting 10 goals and 10 assists.
“I am putting pressure on myself and it is just a case of conquering that pressure. I have got nothing to lose,” said Kiyotake, who was speaking at a charity event for the Great East Japan Earthquake that devastated Japan’s north east on March 11, 2011.
Kiyotake, who has twice broken metatarsal bones in his right foot over the past 12 months, will undergo a medical next week.