Midfielder Takefusa Kubo became the youngest player to make his J.League debut on Saturday when he appeared for FC Tokyo Under-23 in their MEIJI YASUDA J3 League match against AC Nagano Parceiro.
At 15 years, five months, and one day of age, Kubo broke the record set in 2004 by Takayuki Morimoto, then of Tokyo Verdy, at 15 years, 10 months, and six days.
The junior high schooler’s debut drew significant attention, with 182 media representatives joining the 7,653 fans in attendance at Komazawa Olympic Stadium.
Kubo’s involvement in play grew over his 45 minutes of action, and late in the second half he created some potentially game-tying chances for Tokyo in their 2-1 defeat.
“I didn’t take any shots and wasn’t able to contribute much, but it’s good that I was able to play 45 minutes,” Kubo commented after the match. “I want to become the sort of player who can break open a deadlock on the pitch.”
“It’s terrific to have a player who can draw this many fans to a J3 League game,” said J.League Chairman Mitsuru Murai, who was in attendance.
“It’s star players like (Kubo) who will invigorate the division. Many of Tokyo’s Under-23 players are registered to the top team, and I hope we’ll see Kubo in the J1 League soon.”