I acknowledged earlier that the current set up does not produce the greatest games. The final people want to see is Europe v South America. Now wasn’t this the previous competition. So here we have the team that finished 11th in the second half of the J League one match away from being named the best club side on the world.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has talked about moving the Qq Online Terpercaya competition from December to June and increasing the number of teams to 32. Currently the teams from Europe and South America play two games, the renewed format could possibly mean three more games for them.
He has also hinted that domestic leagues should feature just 18 teams. That is all well and good for the teams that qualify for the FIFA tournament but the majority will lose income.
The fact that Kashima Antlers will earn US$4m for reaching the final is the holy grail clubs look for, and the reason it may happen .
I have no doubt the format will change, with FIFA looking to increase their income at the expense of national associations.
I met Ángel (pronounced Anhel) with a Spanish accent as I checked in my hotel in Tokyo. He said I could call him Angel, but I declined.
He was here to support America, but had to be back at work on Monday so couldn’t stay for the Final on Sunday. He had somewhat overdone the shopping and showed me his bags asking for advice on how to check it in. My best suggestion (for this time of year) was a Santa sack.
Anhel had decided he was going to visit Mount Fuji. I was interested, but confused as I knew he only had one day left. My idea of going to Mount Fuji is climbing the mountain and planting a flag.
He had found that he could get take a three hour trip by train and a bus and get to a spot where he could take a photo of the mountain. I mentioned that it had been visible on the train from Osaka to Tokyo, but he hadn’t seen it.
After a late night I woke up and found that Anhel had gone. The time 10.15 Oh dear, I have a meeting with an old friend in one hour across town!
Don’t run on the Tokyo Metro.
I got up and went straight to the subway and contemplated the route that would get me to my destination on time. Despite wanting to run, I am aware of the Japanese etiquette and calmness they personify, even when in a rush. Also there are plenty of signs around the subway stations saying “Don’t run.”
Remember I told you I had mastered the Tokyo subway. I have. I arrived with 5 minutes to spare.
At exactly 11.15 I could see a figure in the distance I could see a figure running in my direction now, even though you couldn’t make out who it was. I knew it was Yoichi. He was also the only Japanese salaryman I saw without a tie on.
Tokyo restaurant – looks closed but isn’t.
Yoichi took me for an early lunch as he had a meeting at 1. We approached a building that looked distinctly closed. When he announced, look it says it is open. Of course it does!
Here there were no plastic meals and no photos. But Yoichi ordered – Sukiyaki and Sashimi. I have since learnt that it was served in the nabemono style, with a flame burning under the meat pot, and the meat and vegetables dipped in a beaten egg.
I used to play football with Yoichi a few years ago and he showed me the pitch where he now plays right in the middle of this urban jungle, near Osaki station. The rate – US$ 200 an hour.
After this I headed to the Samurai Museum. Now normally I am not keen on Japanese museums as they have in the past neglected foreigners.
This was different. It started with a samurai giving a demonstration of sword moves. When he moved to attack he let out a scream, which made a young child jump. At the end he apologised most gracefully and acknowledged that the samurai could be frightening.