Speaking in an interview with Kicker, VfB Stuttgart captain Wataru Endo spoke about his future playing desires and how the Bundesliga is viewed in Japan.
The main takeaway from the interview is that Endo would like to play in England: “I still have the goal of England in my mind.” The Japanese international did not stop there, also stating his desire is to play in Europe: “Above all, I would like to play in the Champions League, I’ll say that quite openly.”
Despite Stuttgart’s poor form in recent years, Endo did not rule out the opportunity to potentially play Champions League football with VfB: “Makoto Hasebe shows in Frankfurt what is possible by reaching the round of 16 in the Champions League, and I feel very comfortable in Stuttgart. VfB also won the German championship 15 years ago. Maybe that’s possible again. First of all, I want to achieve as much as possible with VfB.”
Stuttgart have not played in the Champions League since the 2009/10 season. Since they last played in the Champions League, there have been two promotions and a relegation for VfB. Endo’s contract also expires in 2024, which means the time period he is able to achieve all of this at Stuttgart is slowly closing.
Endo also spoke on how the Bundesliga is viewed in his home nation: “It’s very much appreciated in Japan, it’s one of the top five leagues in Europe with those in England, Spain, Italy and France. Not only Japanese players are drawn to the Bundesliga, many coaches from Japan are also looking to Germany and the Bundesliga.”
Endo first moved to Stuttgart in 2018 when he joined from Belgian side Sint-Truidense VV. The captain was crucial in Stuttgart staying up last season as they beat 1. FC Köln with a last minute header from Endo to survive on the last day of the season.
GGFN | Jack Meenan