Early Life of Arata Izumi
Arata Izumi was born on 31st July 1982. Arata Izumi was born to an Indian father and Japanese mother. On 24th August 2012 it was officially announced by his club, Pune Football Club (Pune FC), that he has received Indian citizenship from the Government of India. Izumi also holds an Indian name, Neelkanth Khambholja.
Career of Arata Izumi
Arata Izumi is a Japanese born Indian footballer who plays for Atletico de Kolkata as a midfielder in the Indian Super League on loan from I-League club Pune, where he is the current captain.
Professional Career of Arata Izumi
In 2005, Arata Izumi started his professional football career with Albirex Niigata Singapore of the S. League. Albirex Niigata Singapore was an affiliate of Albirex Niigata of the J.League. Arata Izumi grew a reputation for his speed while in the S.League. He scored his first professional goal of his career against Tampines Rovers FC in the S. League on 18th September 2005. He then scored his second goal of the season on 30th September 2005 against Woodlands Wellington. Arata ended the season with 22 caps in S.League with 3 goals and 2 caps in the Singapore Cup scoring 1 goal.
Professional Career of Arata Izumi in Japan
In 2006 after a successful season with Albirex Niigata Singapore in which the team finished 5th in the S. League, Arata Izumi moved back to Japan and signed for Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima F.C. of the Japan Football League. While with the team Arata also worked for Mitsubishi Motors as a toso (a person of paints cars). He worked 10 hours a day from 5 in the morning to 6 in the evening with the car company and then he spent 2 hours practicing with the football team. Despite scoring 7 goals and gaining 7 assists in 24 games during the 2006 season Izumi could not stop the club finishing in 17th place, 2nd the last that season.
Career of Arata Izumi in East Bengal
In November 2006 Izumi signed for East Bengal F.C. of the National Football League. At first he struggled to get accustomed to the Indian climate but eventually he found his way. He ended his maiden season with the club with 1 goal and 10 assists in 14 games.
Career of Arata Izumi in Mahindra United
In 2007, Arata Izumi signed for Mahindra United of the I-League which was the league replacing the old National Football League. He began the 2007-08 I-League campaign with an injury which kept him out of football for six months. He managed to come back that season, scoring 1 goal and getting 2 assists in 8 games. The next season Izumi scored 1 goal and gained 5 assisting in 16 I-League games. That season Arata and Mahindra won the Durand Cup.
Career of Arata Izumi in Pune FC
In 2009 Arata Izumi signed for newly promoted I-League side Pune FC. Izumi has called his move to Pune as the turning point of his career. In 2010 he finished the season with career high 10 goals and 10 assists in 26 games. He also scored an extra 6 goals in cup matches. He was the top goal scorer among all midfielders and was also nominated as the best midfielder in the I-League. Izumi also won the Pune FC Man of Steel award from the club that season. Arata Izumi continued his good form for the club in 2010-11 scoring 6 goals and getting 9 assists in 24 games. On 22nd October 2011 Izumi made his 50th appearance for the club in I-League in the opening match of the 2011-12 season against Shillong Lajong. On 24th August 2012 Izumi extended his contract by 2 years.
On 24th August 2012, Arata Izumi gained Indian citizenship, thus making him eligible to play for India at the international level. Then on 29th January 2013 it was confirmed that Izumi had been called up to Wim Koevermans side for friendly against Palestine. Arata Izumi then made his international debut in that match when he came on in the 64th minute for Lenny Rodrigues as India went on to lose the match 4-2. Since then Izumi has also been called up to India's 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualification squad and their 2013 SAFF Championship squad.
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