Shinji Okazaki and Christian Fuchs

Okazaki’s Character Epitomises Leicester, Says Fuchs

Striker Shinji Okazaki is an ‘underestimated’ and ‘amazing’ character that will be missed by everyone at Leicester City Football Club, according to close friend Christian Fuchs.
More on this story...

- Christian Fuchs describes the departing Shinji Okazaki as an ‘amazing’ character
- The Foxes striker played his final game for the Club against Chelsea on Sunday
- Fuchs recalls combining with Okazaki in the UEFA Champions League as one of his best moments with the Japan international

The Japan international’s four-year spell at Leicester came to a close at the end of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, and he undoubtedly departs as a legend after playing his part in the most successful era in the Foxes’ history.

A man who could often been seen by his side was Fuchs after they had instantly created a bond upon their switches to King Power Stadium from the Bundesliga in the summer of 2015.

Okazaki’s shining smile and humble nature will certainly be hard to replace, but Fuchs knows that his companion will not be forgotten by the Club’s players, staff and thankful Blue Army.

Video

Fuchs Sets Up Okazaki Against Club Brugge

Watch Shinji Okazaki turn home Christian Fuchs' cross in the UEFA Champions League encounter with Club Brugge.

“Well I watched his highlight reel on the Leicester City Twitter feed,” said Fuchs. “He has been a great addition and [he’s] a big character – even though he’s only smiling and not talking too much, but he’s a fun dude!

“My question is: ‘Who do I do the stretching [with] before every training now, before every game? Who do I ear-flick, you know?!’

“These are questions that bothered me since I knew that he was going to leave, but joking aside, he has been an amazing character, an amazing player for the Club, a hard worker.

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Shinji Okazaki and Christian Fuchs
Shinji Okazaki and Christian Fuchs

Christian Fuchs says he didn't particularly enjoy coming up against Shinji Okazaki in training.

“That’s what Leicester’s all about and he will not only be missed by me because I had a couple of challenges going on with him, but I think the whole team, the whole club, and the fans will feel the same.”

When asked about some of Okazaki’s most notable moments in Leicester colours, Fuchs picked out a memorable UEFA Champions League night on Filbert Way.

Heading into the clash with Club Brugge knowing a victory would secure top spot in Group G, Fuchs’ cross to the front post was turned home by Okazaki with only five minutes on the clock.

“He probably didn’t score a whole lot of goals but I remember in the Champions League at home, after my cross, he scored an important goal for the 1-0 (first goal in 2-1 win vs. Club Brugge),” Fuchs added.

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Christian Fuchs and Shinji Okazaki
Christian Fuchs and Shinji Okazaki

Christian Fuchs and Shinji Okazaki enjoy some Italian cuisine after Claudio Ranieri famously took the City squad for pizza following their first shutout of the 2015/16 season.

“He probably was a little bit underestimated, but I can tell you that, in training, you don’t want to play against him! He is a really good player. A really good player, I’ve got to say that.

“I knew him from my time back then in Germany when we faced each other several times, he was never easy to play against this small dude with the big thighs! It’s tough to play against players like that.

“He will be a loss, but I understand that he wants to move on and explore other opportunities for his career, and I wish him all the best.”

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