Team Manager Mischa - press conference after the match against Albirex Niigata  

Comment from Team Manager Mischa after the Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company J. League 2nd Stage 6th Sec match against Albirex Niigata

Both teams performed tremendously well. Albirex Niigata did better during the first half but Urawa Reds’s performance was better during the second half of the match.

I am pleased not only our team won the match today but also that both teams performed so well by attacking each other vigorously. Though our team won the match today, it wouldn’t have been a surprise even if Albirex Niigata won in the end.

Had both teams been able to nail the chances they created, we could have finished the match with a result such as five to five, six to six or even seven to seven. I heard that Barcelona played against Sevilla this morning (Japan time) and won the match with five to four. The local media reported the match as a great match and praised it. I think a match with fierce attacks between two teams and many goals deserves more positive attention in Japan.

Relatively speaking, when a match scores lots of goals, let’s say five goals, in Japan, people tend to focus more on why a team lost five goals. But, in my opinion, the real thrill of soccer depends on how many goals a team can score. I hope people value such aspects of soccer more in Japan.

We had close to 30,000 supporters at the stadium for today’s match. I trust that they enjoyed a fantastic match to watch.

Now, I would like to ask you a favor, especially the people of Niigata media. I hope you will evaluate the team and the team manager of Albirex Niigata positively. Albirex Niigata has been performing very well this season. However, there is always a period when a team struggles to win no matter how well they play in soccer. Our team has had many matches like that recently. I regard Albirex Niigata’s soccer highly. For this reason, I hope you can appreciate their performance even though they lost today.

I am making such a comment as I would like to see more change in the view that currently prevails in the Japanese soccer world. In Japan, people often regard a match great when a team plays a very defensive game with 10 players guarding the team by retreating to their side of the field and wins the match by nailing only one scoring chance they create. I am not trying to negate such a type of soccer. But, in my opinion, soccer with vigorous attacks between two teams is more interesting. I hope to see more people view soccer in this way.

People in soccer media play a very significant role in the Japanese soccer world. Soccer supporters and fans read the articles you write and form their views towards soccer. As this is the case, a team that performs like Albirex Niigata should be appreciated even when they don’t win.

Both teams had a brilliant game today. If both teams could seize a victory, I think both teams deserve three points today. If possible at all, I wish to grant three points to Albirex Niigata as well.

[Urawa Reds Official Media (URD:OM)]

Team Manager Mischa – press conference after the match against Albirex Niigata