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Who is Kaoru Mitoma?
Kaoru Mitoma (三笘 薫, Mitoma Kaoru, born 20 May 1997) is a Japanese professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion and the Japan national team.
Early Life and Career
Born in Kanagawa., Japan on May 20th, 1997.
According to research, the Winger started playing football under the influence of his big brother. Among his siblings, Kaoru Mitoma became the one who took the beautiful game more seriously. His older brother (who later became an actor) mostly played soccer for fun during their childhood.
It is revealed that the Japanese winger grew to have the potential of having a football career with no plan B. At the age of 9, young Kaoru made a decision. He left local the local fields of Saginuma SC and a recognized academy – the youth soccer team at Frontale.
Mitoma grew up in the Kawasaki area and joined the Frontale academy at the U10 level. Offered a promotion from the U-18s to the senior team coached by Yahiro Kazama, he instead chose the University of Tsukuba, a Japanese university football powerhouse who had recently produced Frontale stalwarts such as Shogo Taniguchi and Shintaro Kurumaya. Mitoma professed to feel unprepared to enter professional football at age 18, citing the struggles of fellow Kawasaki academy products Ko Itakura and Koji Miyoshi to win regular playing time with the senior squad. He wrote his university thesis on dribbling.
During his time at Tsukuba, Mitoma was selected to represent Japan at the 2017 and 2019 Universiade tournaments, as well as the 2018 Asian Games and the 2019 Toulon Tournament with the under-23 national team. Playing in the Kanto University Soccer League with Tsukuba, he was named to the all-league XI in his final three seasons while majoring in physical education. In addition, Tsukuba appeared in the 2016 and 2017 Emperor’s Cup tournaments making an upstart run to the round of 16 in the latter edition, upsetting J.League clubs YSCC Yokohama, Vegalta Sendai (against whom Mitoma scored a brace), and Avispa Fukuoka along the way. While enrolled in college, Mitoma also occasionally joined Frontale’s senior team for training sessions as a Special Designated Player starting in his sophomore year, appearing in a single J.League Cup match in 2019.
In July 2018, Mitoma agreed on a professional contract with Kawasaki Frontale senior team starting in 2020. He made his official pro debut on the opening matchday of the 2020 J1 League and quickly established himself after the league resumed following the COVID-19 outbreak,, becoming the first rookie to reach double digits in goals in the first division since Yoshinori Muto.
Brighton & Hove Albion
On 10 August 2021, Mitoma joined Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion on a four-year deal, joining Union SG on loan for the first year. He scored his first goal for Union SG on 16 October, where he scored a hat-trick in a 4–2 home victory over Seraing.
On 13 August 2022, Mitoma made his Premier League debut for Brighton, coming on as a 75th-minute substitute for Leandro Trossard in a 0–0 draw with Newcastle United at the Falmer Stadium. He made his first start for Albion on 24 August, playing 67 minutes of the 3–0 away win over League One side Forest Green Rovers in the EFL Cup second round. He made his first Premier League start on 29 October, setting up Leandro Trossard’s fifth minute opener in the eventual 4–1 home win over Chelsea. A week later, he scored his first goal for the Seagulls, heading them level from Adam Lallana’s cross in the eventual 3–2 away win over Wolves. Mitoma also helped Brighton in both other goals with his run into the box creating Pascal Groß’s 83rd minute winner. Mitoma scored again in Brighton’s next match four days later, putting Albion in front in the eventual 3–1 away win over Arsenal in the EFL Cup third round. He scored his first home goal on 31 December, giving Brighton a lifeline in the eventual 4–2 home loss against Arsenal. He later had a goal ruled out for offside which would have cut the Gunners’ lead to one. On 29 January 2023, Mitoma’s 91st-minute winner at home in the fourth round of the FA Cup saw Brighton defeat the cup holders Liverpool 2–1.
After being capped at youth level, Mitoma was called up to the Japan senior squad for the first time in November 2021 for 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Oman. He made his debut on 16 November, coming on as a substitute in a 1–0 away win over Oman.
On 24 March 2022, Mitoma scored his first two international goals in a 2–0 World Cup qualification win against Australia. Coming from the bench on 86th minute, the winger opened the score three minutes later. He scored another during added time. This win confirmed Japan’s qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Mitoma’s double offered him his First “A” international titularisation at the following game, five days later, against Vietnam.
On 1 November, Mitoma was named in Japan’s 26-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In the last group game which came against Spain on 1 December, he assisted Ao Tanaka’s winner that saw Japan qualify to the round of 16 as group winners. The goal came with controversy, originally being ruled out for the ball going out of play, VAR awarded the goal giving the reason that the curvature of the ball was hanging over the chalk.
Family and Parents
Kaoru Mitoma is one among three siblings (himself and a brother) who were born to their Mum and Dad’s marital union.
Kaoru Mitoma spent his childhood years alongside his older and younger brothers. Put simply, he is from a family that consists of four members – his father, mother, and older brother. He spent the bulk of his boyhood years at Oita, on the island of Kyushu, located at the western end of Japan.
In describing the household he comes from, one thing is known. It is a fact that Kaoru Mitoma’s parents are sportspersons who were once active in different sports. Starting with his father, he was a track and field Athlete. And Kaoru Mitoma’s Mum once played volleyball.
The Japan soccer winger never had a rags-to-riches story. In fact, Kaoru Mitoma’s parents operated a middle-class family. They (in the quest to get better jobs) once relocated from their abode shortly after the birth of Kaoru Mitoma.
According to The Athletic, a subscription-based sports website, his Dad and Mum once moved their family 500 miles further north of their country on the island of Kyushu. The decision to change their residence (to the western end of Japan) was purely for work purposes.
From both his father’s and mother’s sides, the winger has only one nationality – which is Japan. Kawasaki City is that place in Japan that Kaoru Mitoma and the rest of the family call home.
Kaoru Mitoma Education
As a child, he took going to school as equally important as building a professional career. Karou respected the wishes of his parents by ensuring he finished up to the university level in other to advance his career. Now, let’s name the schools Mitoma attended.
About his educational background, our research shows Kaoru attended Kawasaki Municipal Saginuma Elementary School. After graduating successfully, he moved to Kawasaki City Arima Junior High School. Kaoru Mitoma then moved to Kawasaki Municipal Tachibana High School. Then finally, the Soccer Winger completed his schooling at the University of Tsukuba.
Kaoru Mitoma Wife:
The professional footballer born in Kanagawa, who now shines for Brighton, is not single. Truth is, there has always been a woman who has stood by Kaoru Mitoma’s side since his college days. Fast forward to the year 2022, Kaoru Mitoma witnessed a change in his marital status.
When the Winger decided to marry his girlfriend Narumi Miura, he revealed these words to his fans.
ON THIS DAY, I HAVE REGISTERED WITH SOMEONE I HAVE BEING WITH SINCE COLLEGE.
I WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE TO BUILD A HAPPY AND BRIGHT FAMILY WITH HER, WHO ALWAYS SUPPORTED ME.
On the 3rd day of July 2022, Kaoru Mitoma announced that he had married his long-term partner and now wife Narumi Miura whom he began dating during college.
Stillness, a Japanese Blog, reported that Narumi Miura and Kaoru Mitoma have been classmates since their childhood days.
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