Measuring in at 1.94 meters, towering forward Mike Havenaar can bring a new dimension to Japan’s attack.
Mike Havenaar began his professional football career with Yokohama F. Marinos in 2006 but was unable to cement a regular spot in the team, leading to loan spells at Avispa Fukuoka and Sagan Tosu in Kyushu in western Japan, where he steadily developed his striking prowess.
Come 2010, he signed for second-tier club Ventforet Kofu where he went on to have a prolific season, earning the divisional golden boot and helping his team win promotion to the top tier. What is more, the following season he scored 17 goals in the top flight, the championship’s second-highest tally.
Havenaar represented Japan at various youth levels, leading up to making his debut for the senior national team in September 2011 in a 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifier against Korea DPR. His first senior international goal would follow just a month later, when he found the net against Tajikistan.
In 2012, Havenaar transferred to Dutch club Vitesse, where he has continued his impressive goal-scoring form. Intriguingly, the Hiroshima-born 26-year-old is the son of Dido Havenaar, a Dutch keeper who played professionally in Japan for more than a decade in the 1980s and ’90s. Indeed, the entire family all have Japanese citizenship.