Roma aims East: between the tour and market in the Rising Sun

Two friendly matches in Japan are now official. Departure is set for November 22nd. Roma will play on the 25th and 28th and return on the 29th. Plus Toyota will host a series of events

Dan and Ryan Friedkin at the Olimpico

Dan and Ryan Friedkin at the Olimpico (As Roma via Getty Images)

04 Ottobre 2022 - 11:55

It has been rumored for months, but the Giallorossi club made it official. The recent expedition of a Roma delegation to the samurai land. This visit was necessary, between a bow and another - a tradition in Japan, to define the program of the tour that will last a week. Two friendly matches will be played for the EuroJapan Cup. Roma will fly to Japan on November 22nd. On the 25th, the first friendly match will be played at Toyota Stadium against Nagoya Grampus. Three days later, there will be a second match against the Yokohama Marinos at the Japan National Stadium, a magnificent facility inaugurated for the Olympics held in Tokyo (in 2021, a year later than planned due to the pandemic). The following day, on November 29th, the Giallorossi are scheduled to fly back to Rome. In Roma's official statement presenting the tour, Mourinho also wanted to express his thoughts on the Japanese engagement, stating: "I am delighted to take my players to Japan in November to take part in the EuroJapan Cup. I am looking forward to playing against Nagoya Grampus and Yokohoma Marinos, two of the best and most renowned teams in the J League. I have great memories of my previous visits to Japan, and I know how much the fans there love football, so it is very exciting to have the opportunity to return to the country once again and, for my players, to test themselves against great opponents and in front of an amazing crowd." Beyond the football aspect, which, of course, will be quite limited, the Japanese tour has a strong value for the club. In order to increase its turnover, the club is looking with increasing interest at the eastern market. And the Japanese one is certainly the richest of them all. Besides, the latest partnership with Toyota (sponsor for the training jerseys) is likely to broaden, and the tour may support this plan. Indeed, Roma’s owners made the Toyota brand the core business of their economic empire (the Friedkins are the exclusive dealers of the brand in five states within the US, with a turnover close to a billion dollars a month). It is very likely, therefore, that during the week in the Land of the Rising Sun, Toyota will host a series of events for the team. Roma’s aim is to penetrate even further into the Japanese market, which is very passionate about the European football. The Japanese market was firstly explored by Roma in the year of the last Scudetto, when Nakata wore our jersey. Therefore, thanks to this renewed interest in Japan, the possibility to have a Japanese player in Trigoria in the near future is not to be ruled out. This, for example, has already happened in the Roma women's team, in which the center-back Minami was signed. In relation to this, it is worth mentioning that, in recent days, Daisuke Shibusava, the sporting director of Montedio Yamagata, a second-division Japan team, was spotted in Trigoria. The director, supported by an Italian sports agent, was not alone. He took with him a player, the 20-year-old Riku Handa (2002), a right-back and a starter for the Japanese Under 21 team, who had played with the Italian Under 21.