LaLiga star Takefusa Kubo targets Champions League progress after superb start for Real Sociedad

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Despite a 2-1 loss to his former team Real Madrid, the creative midfielder is causing a stir in Spain with impressive displays for Real Sociedad in all five LaLiga matchdays so far, including against Granada CF in his team’s thrilling 5-3 victory. The Basque side went into this weekend high on confidence and still yet to lose a match, with Kubo being named MVP in all four matches.

Kubo made an impactful start against his former team, supplying teammate Ander Barrenetxea for the opening goal within the opening five minutes. Following this, just six minutes later, Kubo nearly added to his goal tally for the season, only for his fierce effort from outside the box to be ruled out for offside.

His impressive display continued, with this intricate piece of skill against the experienced Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos.

Kubo has been emerging as one of the league’s most talented young players since he became the second youngest player ever to earn a full cap for Japan in June 2019, in a friendly against El Salvador.

After spending loan periods from Real Madrid in 2020/21 at Villarreal CF and Getafe CF, Kubo returned on another loan to RCD Mallorca for the 2021/22 campaign, after an amazing performance at the Tokyo Olympic Games, where he carried Japan to a fourth place finish with three goals and one assist, starting each of their six games. He had another good season on the island, helping the team to avoid relegation. That then earned him a permanent transfer to Real Sociedad in the summer of 2022.


Kubo had an excellent 2022/23 season with La Real, helping them qualify for the Champions League with his nine goals and seven assists. He has continued that great form to start this season, and only Robert Lewandowski and Antoine Griezmann have registered more goals than Kubo (ten) in the 2023 calendar year.

Before joining the Basque side, the 22-year-old admits he wasn’t in a good place and credits ‘special’ Real Sociedad for helping to establish him as a footballer:

“Playing at home, whatever team you are, it’s always in your favour, but playing at the Reale Arena is special because when you score a goal people have their backs turned and they start to bounce and stuff.

“I think Real Sociedad has a lot more potential compared to last year. In LaLiga we will try to keep that position, to keep that Champions League place and try to chase those at the top.”

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“This year, I’d like to make an impact like last year, but I also want to be there for the team when they need me most.”

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