What Yoshito Okubo lacks in height, he makes up for in ability. With pace and skill in abundance, the 1.70m forward is capable of creating and taking chances in equal measure.
Okubo burst on to the scene with Cerezo Osaka and, in his second season at the club in 2002, scored 18 goals in 29 outings to help them gain promotion to the J.League. Sixteen goals in 24 matches followed in his first campaign in the upper flight, and he finished 2004 as the AFC Young Player of the Year.
After 25 goals in 62 appearances for Vissel Kobe, Okubo’s next port of call was Wolfsburg at the start of 2009. He failed to settle in the German Bundesliga, however, and returned to Vissel just six months later. Thereafter, he has been of constant torment to J.League defenders.
Okubu debuted for the Japan senior side in 2003, and scored twice in three games at the following year’s Men’s Olympic Football Tournament. Surprisingly, it took him four years and 21 matches to find the net at full international level, although he has managed to score more regularly thereafter. He was a regular figure in Takeshi Okada’s starting line-up during the Samurai Blue’s run to their place in South Africa.