Footy Times

Kaoru Mitoma – Boy who joined the university by turning down a professional contract

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After defeating Spain in their last group stage match 2-1 Japan qualified for the Round of 16 of the World cup 2022. However, they had a heartbreaking defeat against Croatia in the prequarter after they succumbed to pressure during the penalty shootout. Kaoru Mitoma gave his full along with his teammates but had to bow out from the tournment.

Many of us know the name Kaoru Mitoma for the controversial goal against Spain that defeated Spain and knocked Germany out, also many may have seen him playing for Brighton. But there is an exciting past behind him. He once turned down a professional contract from Kawasaki Frontale and joined University. He said that he wasn’t ready to play at the highest level so he turned down the contract and went to the University of Tsukuba in 2016.

Mitoma started his youth career in Kawasaki Frontale and got his first professional contract offer from the same club in 2016. The 18-year-old Mitoma rejected the contract because he was not ready to play in professional leagues and thought he could be a better player by studying at university. He then joined the University of Tsukuba in the same year for three years. There he studied the scientific methods of training, Nutrition, Coaching, etc. During that time he represented Japan at the 2017 and 2019 Universiade tournaments. Mitoma played in the 2018 Asian games and other tournaments.

In 2019 Mitoma got a major in physical education and a professional contract from his boyhood club Kawasaki Frontale again. This time he joined them and scored 18 goals in his first season. He was on the radar of many big clubs and dreamed of playing in the top leagues in Europe. In the next season, he scored 8 goals in 20 games and got an offer from Brighton & Hove Albion in 2021. Mitoma joined Brighton and they sent him to Union SG a Belgian club where he scored 7 goals in 27 games.

Mitoma is now back in Brighton and is now a fan favorite. He has scored 1 goal in 9 games for Brighton and 5 goals in 12 games for Japan. His story is an example of self-belief and confidence. Turning down a professional contract for education and getting back that same contract is just pure heroism…


  1. akhil vj says

    nice one jaya

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