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Japan captain Kumagai signs for Bayern Munich’s women


Berlin (AFP) – Japan captain Saki Kumagai says she wants to win the Champions League with new club Bayern Munich after signing a two-year contract following her transfer from Lyon for next season.

Having already won the Champions League title five times in a row with Lyon from 2015/16 until last season, the 30-year-old midfielder wants to bring her experience to Bayern.

“I would like to win the Champions League with Bayern Munich,” admitted Kumagai, who lifted the trophy with Lyon after they beat Wolfsburg in the 2019/20 final in San Sebastian.

“I was looking for a new challenge and when we (Lyon) played Bayern in the Champions League quarter-finals last year, I noticed how unified Bayern are and that they are a very good team.

“That sparked my interest in the club.”

Kumagai was voted Asian women’s footballer of the year in 2019 and has made more than 100 appearances for Japan.

She was in the Japanese team which won the 2011 women’s World Cup final in Germany, then finished as runners-up four years later in Canada.

This will be her second stint in the women’s Bundesliga after spending two years playing for Eintracht Frankfurt until 2015.

Bianca Rech, sports director of Bayern women’s team, said the current German league leaders are delighted to have “convinced Saki of our project.”

“She brings with her incredible international experience and will play an important role in our team’s further development,” Rech added.

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