Wataru Endō – Leading by Example
The importance of a holding midfielder in today’s physically demanding version of football cannot be overstated. With someone like Wataru Endō on your side of the pitch, success is practically guaranteed. His journey from playing for relatively lesser-known teams in Japan to becoming a crucial addition to one of Europe’s top clubs, Liverpool, is nothing short of inspirational. Although he’s now in his 30s, an age when many football players consider retirement, Wataru has defied this trend, continuing to improve and evolving like a fine wine.
Goal 90 is thrilled to present our in-depth exploration of Japan’s captain and introduce you to one of Liverpool’s standout signings in the 2023 summer transfer window. Continue scrolling to discover his on-field challenges and intriguing facets of his life beyond the pitch.
Wataru Endō Family
Wataru Endō has chosen to keep his family life private, and as such, there is no information available about his parents’ names or any details regarding his siblings.
Wataru is married, but details about his partner remain undisclosed. He shares his life with four children, and he has posted pictures of his family on his social media.
Reliable data on his religious beliefs or faith is not available. However, it’s worth noting that given Japan’s dominant religion is Shintoism, it’s possible that he may be a follower of this faith.
Information of Endō’s childhood is currently unavailable, but what we do know is that he started his football journey later than most professional players. He developed a passion for the game during his early adolescence, often playing with friends at school whenever he could. At the age of 15, he was enrolled in a football academy, where he dedicated himself to honing his skills and expanding his understanding of the sport.
Shortly thereafter, he joined Shonan Bellmare and made a strong impression during the trials. He began his journey in the youth ranks, training alongside other promising youngsters. Occasionally, he had the opportunity to participate in senior team training sessions, where he absorbed knowledge and experience from those around him.
At the tender age of 17, Wataru made his senior debut for Shonan, showcasing remarkable potential. However, he faced bitter disappointment when Shonan was relegated in 2013. Nevertheless, they quickly regained their position, securing a promotion to the top tier of the Japanese football league in 2014.
Due to limited playing time and reports of a fallout with his former coach, Wataru Endō made a move to Urawa Red Diamonds. There, he gained popularity and rose through the ranks. His standout moment came when he clinched the J. League Cup in 2016 with a stylish penalty in the final’s shootout. The following year, in 2017, he achieved the highest honor in Asian football, winning the AFC Champions League and etching his name into the history books.
Wataru’s exceptional performances with Urawa Red Diamonds drew the attention of several European clubs. Ultimately, Sint-Truiden in Belgium became his next destination. However, his time at Sint-Truiden saw limited playing opportunities, and, in some cases, he didn’t feature at all due to the manager’s decision. As a result, he was loaned out to VFB Stuttgart during the 2019-20 season.
This loan move soon turned into a permanent signing just a few months later. Shortly thereafter, Wataru was entrusted with the captain’s armband, a testament to his maturity and excellence in leadership that couldn’t be overlooked.
One of the standout moments from his time at VFB Stuttgart was when he scored the winning goal against 1. FC Köln, rescuing his team from the Bundesliga’s relegation playoffs. In need of swift reinforcements due to the departures of several key midfielders, Jurgen Klopp turned to Wataru Endō to bolster Liverpool’s midfield. An agreement was swiftly reached, and he officially signed for Liverpool in the summer of 2023, in the month of August. Shortly thereafter, he made his full debut for the club.
Some Fun Facts
- He is the second Japanese player to join Liverpool, following in the footsteps of Takumi Minamino.
- Unlike many players, Wataru Endō does not have any tattoos.
- He played a significant role in Japan’s 2022 World Cup campaign, which saw them reach the Round of 16, where they narrowly lost to the Bronze Medalists, Croatia, in a penalty shootout.
Continue Reading – The 10 Worst Replacements in Football History
Date Of Birth
February 9, 1993
Place Of Birth
Totsuka-ku, Yokohama, Japan
5ft 10in (1.78m)
Names not known
Club Jersey Num