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Overview
Synopsis
My singular interest is in becoming the best in the world. There is a fundamentally different depth to our greed.
 
— Sae to Sendo, [1]

Sae Itoshi (伊藤冴, Itoshi Sae) is an antagonist of the Blue Lock (Manga).

Sae is a prodigy football player who is regarded as the best player in Japan and is the older brother of Rin Itoshi. Sae is also a member of the Men's World 11 and is a member of the Real Madrid Youth team, regarded as one of the best youth players in the world.

His main goal before the start of the series was to become the best striker in the world and in turn the best player in the world but after leaving Japan and experiencing the professional league in Spain he changed his dream to becoming the best midfielder in the world.

At the start of the series, he is in Japan only to renew his passport but after happening to hear about the Blue Lock he decides to stay. He later joins the Japan U-20 to face off against the Blue Lock Eleven in the Japan U-20 match.

Appearance

Sae is an average sized but lean and built young man with reddish brown hair and green eyes with long eyelashes just like his brother, Rin. During the National Representative match he dons the Japan U-20 White #10 jersey with a black shirt underneath the jersey and some black gloves.

Personality

Since a young age, Sae has been cold, blunt, and very serious. He has only ever cared about becoming the best striker in the world and has only had time for things that get him closer to his goal. Sae can also be arrogant and condescending looking down on others even if they are older than him and have more organizational authority. He is egotistical in his football play but has shown to be able to restrain himself and play his position, not trying to outshine others unnecessarily.

Sae has a lot of pride as a football player, looking down on Japanese football and all who participate in it. Sae states he much rather die or play in Europe with a bunch of college students than play in the J- League or play on the Japan National Team. He is very confident in his skills and wholeheartedly believes that nobody in Japan is worthy of his skills as a teammate. He dislikes the fact that he was born in Japan, saying things like he was simply born in the wrong country.

Sae seems to easily command respect in a room from most people due to his reputation and skill even with his bad attitude and candid way of speaking and is able to handle and entice rowdy and tough people into listening to him or doing things his way. Though Sae is a difficult person he is not impossible to work with especially if he is getting something out of it. He, out of pure interest, decides to stay in Japan on a whim after hearing about the Blue Lock Project and even joins the Japan U-20 for the match against the Blue Lock Eleven. But when his interest is satisfied he has no problem abandoning those he deems unworthy of his time.

Even though Sae exhibits arrogance, he does not mind staying in his role, as midfielder and key passer. During the Japan National Representative match, Sae gave the Japan U-20 forwards every opportunity to score and only after repeated failures does he decide to score himself.

Abilities

Archetype

  • Playmaker: A player who controls the flow of the team's offensive play, and is often involved in passing moves which lead to goals, through their vision, technique, ball control, creativity, and passing ability.

Sae has been described as having a cold and calculating play style. He creates constant ideal plays for his team using his passing and dribbling, essentially controlling the offense and fills in any gaps the defense may have by going to the most critical point using his vision. With every play he makes, Sae aims to crush his opponent quickly and efficiently, destroying them "beautifully".

Skills

Physical Ability
 
4/5
Technique
 
5/5
Speed
 
5/5
Power
 
4/5
Kick
 
5/5

Professional Football Technique: Sae is regarded as a genius player in the professional world of football. He plays football in Europe and is considered to be on the level of a pro but has not gone fully pro only because of the age requirements in Spain, at the start of the series. He is regarded as the best player in Japan and can easily fill a stadium with his name alone, due to his immense reputation. Even high level players like Rin Itoshi and Ryusei Shidou are a league below him.

Perfect Kick Technique: Sae has the ability to control the intensity, angle, speed, and accuracy of his kicks to an extreme level at any given point in time. Not only is he able to consistently perform complex passes using his superior footwork and technique but added with his level of skill he is able to perfectly manipulate the ball to the point his passes are easy to receive but hard to intercept or block.

  • Long Driven Pass: A long pass, usually 40-50 meters long, that gives the ball enough height and power to avoid interception.
  • Lob Pass: Also known as a Chip, is a shot in which the ball is kicked from underneath with accuracy but with less than maximum force, to launch it high into the air in order to pass it over the heads of opponents.
  • Line Drive Shot: Sae is able to score with a powerful drive shot, taken from the byline and aimed at the other side of the goal. This is a shot that defies the expectations of anyone in the box anticipating a pass and can catch the goalkeeper off guard.
  • Trivela (Pass): A technique wherein which one puts spin on the ball using the outside of their foot. Sae is able to make a pinpoint pass using the outside of his left foot, in an instantaneous motion with his reflex. Sae is also able to use this pass with his weaker right foot, to still make a pinpoint pass.
  • Ultra-Fast Pass: From a set piece, Sae is able to make an incredibly fast pass that borders on being a shot. By using his reflex, he takes all conditions into account, in order to pass to a place that the opponent cannot reach, as if threading a needle.

Counter Dribbling: Sae's dribbling is "passive", in comparison with the more proactive dribbling of Bachira and Yukimiya. Rather than actively moving past defenders, Sae will observe the defender's rhythm and motions, before flowing past them in a counter. Sae's dribbling is the best shown so far, being able to effortlessly blow past the likes of Isagi and Bachira within one fluid movement. He is also shown to be able to overcome his brother Rin with relative ease, nutmegging him in each of their engagements. Rin noted that the tempo of each of his touches when he dribbles is incredibly fast, bolstered by his experience in Europe. Sae will often prioritize passing to progress the ball up the field, but when he wishes to play seriously, he changes his style to breaking through by himself with his dribbling, drastically increasing his options. When Sae gets serious, his dribbling is good enough to overcome Nagi and Isagi in quick succession (whilst nutmegging the latter), overcome Baro and Karasu at the same time, as well as avoid Rin's challenge. In addition to this, he nutmegged Yukimiya and avoided Hiori's tackle to break apart Blue Lock's formation.

  • Hyperspeed Scissors: Sae performs a scissor feint at incredible speed, making it hard to follow.
  • Double Touch: Sae knocks the ball from one foot to the other, before using the second foot to knock the ball past his opponent and break past. He performed this move at an incredibly fast tempo, leaving Rin little time to react.
  • Marseille Turn: Sae stops the ball with the outside of his foot, shielding the ball from his opponent, before performing a roulette to turn past them.
  • Nutmeg: Sae dribbles the ball through the legs of a defender effectively getting past their defense with little effort.
    • Cross Elastico Nutmeg: Sae performs an elastico, but by crossing the ball behind his dominant leg, before knocking it between his opponent's legs using his non-dominant foot. He first performed this move on his brother Rin when he returned from Spain, but has also performed this move on Rin during the Japan National Representative Match.
    • Elastico Nutmeg: Sae performs a regular elastico to nutmeg a defender and go past them. He did this to Isagi when breaking through the midfield, during the Japan National Representative Match.
    • Rabona Nutmeg: A technique where a player kicks the ball, with their kicking leg crossed behind their standing leg. Sae can use this technique to play the ball between an opponent's legs, before passing them, as he demonstrated against Yukimiya.
  • Shoulder Block: By using his shoulder to block off his opponent, Sae reverses his centre of gravity to avoid their tackle.

Reflex: With his incredible reflexes, Sae is able to take into account all the conditions of the field and make decisive plays to get the ball down the field and in the hands of the forwards in the best way possible. Sae will determine who has the most "heat" towards the goal and play the ball to them, meaning he has no bias towards particular strikers. This incredible reflex makes Sae hard to read and stop, as he makes split-second judgements to constantly move the ball and change positions. It is this reflex which enables Sae to operate on the same wavelength as Shidou and exploit his abilities to their full potential.

Quotes

  • (To Hirotoshi Buratsuta and Yasumori Houichi) Who's this Fatso and Bobcut duo?... Well that speeds things up. Hey you old geezers. I checked the videos of all those Japan U-20 players or whatever... they're all shit. Especially the forwards. They're a big stinking pile of insect turd. [2]
  • (To Hirotoshi Buratsuta and Yasumori Houichi) I agreed to join the team because I heard I'd get to play against the Blue Lock guys, but if this is the kind of School Team-Level Trash you're gonna throw me in I'm backing out. [2]
  • (To Hirotoshi Buratsuta and Yasumori Houichi) Then there's a forward in Blue Lock who I want to play with. [2]
  • (To Rin Itoshi) So long as you're still hung up on being my brother you'll never be able to surpass me. [3]
  • (To Rin Itoshi) Hey, Rin... Turns out, the world is huge. There're players way better than me out there I've changed my dream, instead of becoming the best striker. I will become the best midfielder in the world. [4]
  • (To Blue Lock) I will increase the game level. Only the idiots who can follow me.....get to see the scenery that comes next. [5]

Trivia

  • He originally returned to Japan to renew his passport.
  • He dislikes Japanese football and all who participate in it.
  • He turned 18 after the Second Selection.

References

  1. Blue Lock Manga: Chapter 110.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Blue Lock Manga: Chapter 107.
  3. Blue Lock Manga: Chapter 123.
  4. Blue Lock Manga: Chapter 124.
  5. Blue Lock Manga: Chapter 139.

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