Maya Yoshida is a Japanese international defender who plays club football for Sampdoria. Born in Nagasaki, Japan on 24th August 1988, the quick central defender began his career as a junior at J League side Nagoya Grampus, making his first-team debut in 2007. Yoshida signed for Dutch side VVV-Venlo in January 2010 – winning the Eredivisie Goal of the Season award for a bicycle kick against PSV Eindhoven in September 2011. After more than 50 Eredivisie, he signed for Southampton for £3m in August 2012, making his debut in a 6-1 defeat at Arsenal, before establishing himself in the Saints’ first-team squad, including appearances in the UEFA Europa League. Yoshida has more than 60 caps for Japan, and has won the 2011 Asia Cup and represented his country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He also captained Japan’s U23 side to the bronze medal match at the 2012 London Olympic Games.