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Joel Chima: The Japanese Samurai with Nigerian blood

Joel Chima: The Japanese Samurai with Nigerian blood

David Alaba plays for Austria, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori play for England, Arnaut Danjuma is a Dutch star, while Philip Biling represents Denmark.

You will find a Nigerian not just in these countries alone, as there are many Nigerian stars across different European countries.

According to a report from the CIES Football Observatory, Nigeria is the number one African country and 11th in the world, with the highest number of professional footballers (355).

While it is not a surprise to see Nigerian players turn out for some of these European countries as they appeal more to Nigerians looking to emigrate for a better life.

However, seeing Nigerian stars playing and representing Asian countries is a big surprise. While they may not be as many players in Europe, Joel Chima Fujita is one of the most famous players of Nigerian origin in Asia.

Just as his name suggests, Fujita is a breed of Japanese and Nigerian origin. Still only 20, Fujita was born in Tokyo to a Nigerian father and Japanese mother.

Chima is his Nigerian name, while Fujita is his Japanese name. The 20-year-old started his career with Tokyo Verdy U18 before moving up to their first team, making 45 appearances.

However, After just a year with Tokyo Verdy, Chima joined Tokushima Vort in January 2021, but he only stayed for one year at the club before joining Yokohama F. M.

The 20-year-old has settled in well with the Marinos, playing 13 times in the J1 League and six times in AFC Champions League.

Chima plays mainly as a defensive midfielder, even though he also has the qualities to play an advanced role.

Although Chima is eligible to represent Nigeria, it appears he has pitched his tent with Japan. He has represented the Samurai Blues at the Youth Level, including the 2019 U-17 World Cup.

And having spent all his life in Japan, it’s only normal for him to represent the Asian side.

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