• Riku Danzaki (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Whether Riku Danzaki stays in Australia for another season or heads to Europe to pursue his dream of playing in the big leagues, one thing is for certain: the Japanese attacker has been a hit during his time with Brisbane Roar.
John Duerden

SBS The World Game
27 May 2021 - 2:34 PM  UPDATED 27 May 2021 - 2:34 PM

The 20-year-old is soon to finish his season-long loan from Consadole Sapporo.

With eight goals to his name he is currently ranked sixth in the goalscoring charts, not bad going at all for a youngster in his first spell outside his homeland.

Fans are already asking whether his move down under may become something a little more long-term.

“I do not know at the moment whether I will stay,” Danzaki told The World Game.

“I am enjoying my football here and like playing in Australia, but if there is an opportunity to go and play in one of the good leagues in Europe then I will have to go for my dream.”

His goals have helped Brisbane in their quest for a final series play-off spot and he is confident that the Roar, currently in fourth, will not slip-up in the final games.

“We will make it,” he said. “Everyone is focused on this objective and we are playing well.”

Modestly, Danzaki claims that he does not know if his exploits are being followed closely back home in Japan or whether there will be more compatriots to follow him down under - and not just compatriots, since Samri Nasri (former Arsenal and Manchester City star) shares the same Double Diamond agents and is open to a move to the A-League.

He is also, despite a growing command of English, concerned about his language abilities and while that may have been an issue off the pitch early in his time with the Roar, he has had few problems on it.

“Communication has been my biggest challenge as I am still learning English but because of the help of my team-mates it has been easy to adapt to the style of play.”

The difference in style between leagues J and A has not been a problem.

“In Japan, the football is more technical and focused on passing while here in Australia, the game is more intense and more physical and I enjoy that. I am just focused on developing as a player and improving as much as possible.”

There is no doubt as to his favourite moment of the season so far (his favourite player in the A-League is a certain Alessandro Diamanti).

On May 5, Brisbane were trailing 1-0 at home to Western United with 20 minutes remaining. After Joshua Brindell-South had equalised, Danzaki calmly fired home the winner in the 94th minute to send the Roar from eighth to fifth.

“That was my favourite goal for Brisbane and the highlight of the season.”

It is not over yet and whatever happens in the coming weeks, fans will not forget their young Japanese sharpshooter in a hurry.