Let’s watch J. League soccer games! –Gamba Osaka –


Let’s watch J. League soccer games! –Gamba Osaka –

Gamba Osaka, seen here dedicating the Expo ’70 Commemorative Stadium as its home turf, has frequently been active on the world stage beyond J. League, as when it dominated the Asian Champions League in 2008. In 2014, the team traveled to Indonesia for away games involving its top team members and u-13 academy. They also held soccer classes in Myanmar, proactively sharing their talent and time with the world. Earlier this year, they participated in the AFC Champions League for the first time in three years, and their new stadium is currently under construction, to be completed in the autumn of 2015.

On Saturday, May 16, 2015 I watched a home game featuring Gamba Osaka against Kawasaki Frontale in the current stadium. Even before the game started, the stadium was thick with the enthusiasm of supporters in blue uniforms, with Gamba Osaka merchandise, such as flags and towels, waving in the wind. Soccer boys, enthusiastic young soccer fans, from Thailand, cheered the team with restraint at first, but around half-time they stood up, brought their bodies forward and began clapping their hands excitedly.

“During the game, Endo was so impressive,” said Pon. “The Food tasted good, too,” he added with a smile. “The movement of Gamba’s No. 15 player (Kon-no) caught my attention,” said Tee. “The feverish excitement of supporters was terrific. And I could not take my eyes away from Usami’s play. His successful game development from a free-kick and shoots was so impressive” said Jay. With a gaze of earnest intensity, the soccer boys checked replay scenes on monitor.

After the game, they met Endo, a player they admire. They also asked a question of Usami, who made a beautiful shoot during the match: “When you pass the ball to somebody, what do you think about?” While they looked nervous, they still wore big smiles after handshakes and the taking of some commemorative photographs.

They are dreaming that someday they will play with these men on the same ground.

Let’s feel closer to Gamba Osaka’s players!

Gamba Osaka’s practice field, where three soccer players from Thailand trained together with the team players, is located near the Expo ’70 Commemorative Stadium. It has both natural and artificial turf, and the observation of public practices is permissible. On the first floor of its club house, there is an official shop where past uniforms are displayed and original goods are sold, including replica uniforms with uniform numbers, towels and flags.

A dream stadium will be completed in autumn 2015!

To have a stadium with the seating capacity of 40,000 people! The project, which began in 2013, has been progressing steadily and will be completed this autumn. The new stadium boasts many impressive features, such as the fact that the shortest distance from the pitch to audience seats is 7m—the closest among all other stadiums in Japan—and roof-covered audience seats. Additionally, a shopping mall recently opened in front of the Monorail Banpaku Kinenkoen-eki (Expo ’70 Commemoration Park) Station, so the hometown of Gamba Osaka continues to bloom.

Category: Area, Osaka, Sports Tourism in Osaka!, Vol.22