When Keisuke Honda joined AC Milan on a three-and-a-half year from CSKA Moscow on Wednesday his childhood dreams came true.
The Japan international claimed he had always dreamt of playing in Serie A following his unveiling and an essay written by Honda at the age of 13 reveals just how accurate his teenage premonition actually was.
The 27-year-old wrote the essay when he was graduating from elementary school as part of a tradition in Japanese schools and below is a translated version of his schoolboy prophecy.
“My Dream for the Future”
[Written in March 1999, translation by Dan Orlowitz]
When I grow up, I want to be the best football player in the world. No, I will become the best.
To be the best player in the world, you have to practice harder than anyone else. That’s why I’m working hard right now.
I’m not a very good player, but I’ll work hard and absolutely become the world’s greatest. When I become the world’s best, I want to become rich and repay my parents.
I’ll become famous in the World Cup and be called to play for a Serie A team. After that I’ll become a regular and play as No.10.
I want to earn 4 billion yen a year [Note: in 1999 this would have been €30.7m. At today’s exchange rate it is €28.1m]
I dream that one day I’ll sign a contract with Puma and design spikes or training wear, and people around the world will go out to buy them.
Then I’ll appear in the tournament everyone in the world pays attention to every four years, the World Cup.
After playing well in Italy I’ll come back to Japan, have meetings [with the JFA], be given the No.10 uniform and become the team’s figurehead.
I want to beat Brazil 2-1 in the [World Cup] final.
My dream is to team up with my older brother [Hiroyuki Honda was set to turn pro in 2005 but retired due to injury. He’s now Keisuke’s agent], outwit the world’s strongest team, trade good passes with him, and score a goal in that game.