Skip to main content Text Only version of this page
BBC
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
BBC Sport World Cup 2002

 You are in: Matches Wallchart: Japan v Russia  
Front Page
Statistics
Team Pages
Features
Other News
Sports Talk
TV/Radio Coverage
Photo Galleries
Venues Guide
Matches Wallchart
World Cup Greats
History
Quiz

BBC Sport

BBC News

BBC Weather

Monday, 10 June, 2002, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
Arsenal release Inamoto
Junichi Inamoto fires Japan ahead against Russia
Inamoto scored in Japan's historic win over Russia
Japan midfielder Junichi Inamoto has been released from his contract with Arsenal.

Inamoto will be allowed to leave Highbury on a free transfer at the end of this month.

The English Premiership and FA Cup Double winners reportedly told the 22-year-old just before the World Cup began.

Arsenal signed Inamoto from J-League team Gamba Osaka 11 months ago for 4m.

He had little chance to show his worth at Highbury, playing in just two Worthington Cup ties and 20 minutes in the Champions League.

But he exploded onto the World Cup stage, scoring in Japan's 2-2 draw with Belgium.

And he followed that up by scoring the only goal in his nation's first ever World Cup victory, a 1-0 triumph over Russia.

He was made man of the match in both games.

Inamoto is adored in Japan and his image adorns posters and television screens throughout the country.

Arsenal declined to confirm the news on Monday but a spokesman for the Premier League said Inamoto had been placed on an official list of players available on a free transfer.

Junichi Inamoto
Inamoto did not play in the Premiership for Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was at the Japan versus Russia match in the Yokohama Stadium, working for Japanese television.

He was later linked up with an embarrassed-looking Inamoto in a post-match interview.

And in Monday's edition of the Japanese language Sankei Sports newspaper Wenger was cagey about Inamoto's future.

"It's not a good time to talk about whether he's leaving Arsenal or staying," wrote Wenger, a former coach of J-League side Nagoya Grampus.

"I haven't decided yet but he's shown that in Europe he can play in any team.

"He has learned a lot in Europe and he knew he could be a winner when he played in that first match against Belgium."

Open Quote
I didn't play for a year but practising with excellent players has helped me greatly improve my skills
Close Quote
Junichi Inamoto

Inamoto, who speaks little English, looked uncomfortable throughout his interview with Wenger.

And he said afterwards: "It was the moment I dreaded most. I was very aware that somebody was watching me from somewhere tonight."

Inamota was hoping to emulate the success of his compatriot Hidetoshi Nakata who has become a star in Serie A.

But he added: "I didn't play for a year but practising with excellent players has helped me greatly improve my skills.

"I haven't shown my skills to the Japanese fans for a year so I am very glad I have been able to do so here."

Inamoto has been linked to Dutch side Feyenoord, where his close friend Shinji Ono, also 22, has made a mark.

Italian clubs Atlanta and Perugia are also said to be interested.


E-mail this story to a friend
INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
TOP STORIES FROM
JAPAN V RUSSIA
 TEAMS
 JAPAN
Full coverage:
News and
features
Lineker's verdict
Statistics pages
World Cup so far
Have Your Say
 SQUAD PROFILES
 TEAMS
 RUSSIA
Full coverage:
News and
features
Lineker's verdict
Statistics pages
World Cup so far
Have Your Say
BBCRussian.com
 SQUAD PROFILES
GROUP H
  P GD PTS
JAPAN 3 +3 7
BELGIUM 3 +1 5
RUSSIA 3 0 3
TUNISIA 3 -4 1




© BBC ^ Back to top

Front Page | Statistics | Team Pages | Features | Other News | Sports Talk | TV/Radio Coverage | Photo Galleries | Venues Guide | Matches Wallchart | World Cup Greats | History | Quiz

BBC Sport >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
BBC World Service >> | BBC Radio Five Live >>
© MMII | News Sources | Privacy