Japan international Daichi Kamada has become a firm fan favourite at Eintracht Frankfurt. - © Simon Hofmann/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
Japan international Daichi Kamada has become a firm fan favourite at Eintracht Frankfurt. - © Simon Hofmann/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Daichi Kamada: Who is Eintracht Frankfurt's Japanese playmaker?


Daichi Kamada will leave Eintracht Frankfurt at the end of the 2022/23 season after five memorable seasons with the club. bundesliga.com profiles the Japan star...

Data correct as of 14 April 2023

Daichi Kamada

Age: 26
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt
Position: Attacking/ central midfielder
Country: Japan (28 caps, six goals)

Key stats

Kamada turned out a handful of times for the J-League U22 selection in Japan’s third tier, before making his debut for Sagan Tosu in the J-League Cup. The 5'11" playmaker produced an assist on his J-League debut - one of 11 goals he laid on for his teammates in 80 club appearances in his homeland. He also scored 16 of his own, prompting Frankfurt to make their move in summer 2017.

Kamada made his full Bundesliga debut against Freiburg on Matchday 1 of 2017/18, but was restricted to just two further top-flight outings, in part due to the burgeoning 'magic triangle' of Sebastien Haller, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic. The trio shared 68 per cent of Eintracht’s 60 Bundesliga goals the following campaign, which Kamada spent on loan in Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League with Sint-Truidense.

A productive loan stint with Sint-Truidense in Belgium gave Kamada's career lift-off. - imago

He made the most of the opportunity, registering 16 goals and nine assists in 36 appearances on Belgian soil. A first call-up to the Japan national team and summer return to Frankfurt were his reward, with the naturally right-footed Kamada making his international bow in a friendly defeat to Colombia five months before scoring his first Eintracht goal in the 2019/20 DFB Cup first round.

The Samurai Blue star opened his Japan account at the third time of asking in the 6-0 drubbing of Mongolia in 2022 World Cup qualifying, and topped up his tally with assists against Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach, as well as Standard Liege in the Europa League. His Arsenal double on 28 November 2019 was the second of his career, while his hat-trick in the 4-1 win over Salzburg was his first professional treble.

Kamada was also a cornerstone of Frankfurt's triumphant 2021/22 Europa League campaign, registering five goals in 13 outings en route to helping Oliver Glasner's side overcome Rangers in the final in Seville. He continued that form into the 2022/23 season, posting seven goals and three assists in 13 league games prior to the 2022 World Cup break. The Japan international heads for the door as Eintracht's 14-goal record scorer in UEFA competition.

Watch: All of Kamada's Bundesliga goal involvements in 2022/23

Plays a bit like: Shinji Kagawa

Kamada has more than just a passport in common with Dortmund cult hero Kagawa. He’s got a few inches on his Japanese countryman, but plays in the pocket behind the striker with the self-same industry and creativity that made two-time Bundesliga winner Kagawa such a hot commodity.

Did you know?

Kamada may have a young son and live in the centre of a bustling city like Frankfurt, but he nevertheless manages to get plenty of rest when not playing football, telling Frankfurter Rundschau that he sleeps for 12 hours every day. Perhaps that is the secret to the success of the Kamada family as footballers: his father Fukushige used to play, while his younger brother Hiromu is a midfielder for Japanese J2 League side Vegalta Sendai.

What they’re saying

"I've only rarely encountered such an intelligent player out on the pitch. Daichi's sense of anticipation for where dangerous spaces will open up is excellent. I trust him to find the spaces opposing teams give us." - current Frankfurt coach Oliver Glasner

"I have to admit he’s really surprised me - in a good way! He’s come on leaps and bounds, not just as a player but his character has really come to the fore, too." - former Frankfurt coach Adi Hütter on Kamada's emergence