Bayern Munich have been the reigning club in Germany for decades, dominating the Bundesliga with some of the world’s best players as they compete not just for domestic glory, but the continent’s highest honors as well.
In recent years, Kawasaki Frontale have held that place in Japan. Winners of four of the last six Meiji Yasuda J1 League titles as well as several other honors, they have defined this era of Japanese football.
Now, Bayern and Frontale meet in a friendly, fittingly at the Japan National Stadium as two great clubs take center stage in Tokyo.
Bayern are in preseason, preparing for a campaign in which they hope to win their 12th consecutive Bundesliga title and seventh UEFA Champions League overall. With the likes of Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sané, Joshua Kimmich and Alphonso Davies in the team, it’s no wonder they can dream so big. The talent in the Bayern team is so immense that every honor is within their grasp and they'll get to show that quality for thousands of adoring Japanese fans against Frontale.
The friendly comes at a time when Frontale are beginning to find their footing, too. After years of so many phenomenal players departing for Europe, Frontale took a bit of a step back this season as they adjusted to a squad of new and younger faces, but they’ve played better of late and it should be a treat for them to test themselves against Bayern.
Taisei Miyashiro is emerging as Frontale’s new young star and he’s going to get a chance to shine against the German giants, as will fellow forward Shin Yamada. Then there is 18-year-old Kota Takai, who is a player beyond his years at centerback, and looks set to lead Frontale into their next era of excellence.
You cannot tell the story of German football without Bayern at the heart of it, and modern Japanese football is narrated by Frontale. Now they meet, and it should be a blast at the National Stadium.