KASHIWA, Chiba Pref. — Japan defender Hiroki Sakai said Wednesday he is relishing the prospect of testing himself against the likes of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery after earning a move from Kashiwa Reysol to the German Bundesliga with Hannover.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how I match up to the attacking force of Robben and Ribery," Sakai said of the Bayern Munich stars. "I want to play against big clubs and I get excited just thinking about being there (in Germany)."
"I have been watching overseas soccer on video since I was playing at youth level and I have always thought I would like to play abroad if I got the call," added the 22-year-old, who said the stability at Hannover had appealed to him.
Sakai has signed a four-year contract with Hannover. The terms of the deal, including his wage and the transfer fee, were not disclosed.