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[ODDS and EVENS] Yuya Osako Set the Tone for Title-Winning Vissel Kobe

Chosen as the J.League's Player of the Year, veteran forward Yuya Osako scored a career-high 22 goals to lead Vissel's rise to the top.

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Yuya Osako
Vissel Kobe's Yuya Osako scored 22 goals to tie for the J.League lead in the 2023 season. (ⒸSANKEI)

Read the full story on SportsLook - [ODDS and EVENS] Yuya Osako Set the Tone for Title-Winning Vissel Kobe

Yuya Osako was the perfect choice to receive the J.League Player of the Year award for the 2023 season.

More than any other player, Osako's individual impact was the driving force of success for his team. In addition, Osako's productivity set the standard of excellence that defined title-winning Vissel Kobe's overall performance throughout the J.League campaign, which started in February and ended on Sunday, December 3.

Osako's goalscoring output helped transform Vissel into a title contender, and the club's climb from 13th place (out of 18 teams) in the 2022 season to league champion a year later was nothing short of spectacular.

With a career-best 22 goals in 34 matches, Osako shared the league lead with Yokohama F. Marinos star Anderson Lopes.

Two days after the season concluded with Vissel at the top of the standings and Marinos in second, Osako was recognized as the season's top player at the league's annual awards ceremony in Yokohama. (The award was formerly known as the J.League MVP award.)

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At this stage of the 33-year-old forward's career, he expresses pride in his dedication to daily training and practice, things that usually take place away from the spotlight. For example, he employed a trainer after the 2022 season ended, according to published reports.

"Every day, I continued to work hard, and that made each and every day exciting," Osako said, reflecting on his successful season, according to The Yomiuri Shimbun.

For Yuya Osako, Disappointment Leads to Success

Osako was not selected to play for the Japan men's national team, aka the Samurai Blue, for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Clearly, that snub served as motivation to prove that he remains a quality player ― and one worthy of a spot on the national squad.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.

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Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and X (formerly Twitter) @ed_odeven

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