Over 150 search results are displayed when you google Japanese restaurants in Berlin. Satoshi Tsuiki would love to try them all. “I’m really looking forward to testing them.” Yes, he can, because the 30-year-old libero has signed a two-year contract with the BR Volleys, as the Tagesspiegel found out exclusively.
It’s a real culinary upgrade for the Japanese: he previously played in Frankfurt, where there are far fewer restaurants, but the change is also something special for him in terms of sport. “It’s just unbelievable,” he says, sounding quite enthusiastic. “I’m really excited because Berlin is famous all over the world and has a great team.”
Tsuiki is particularly looking forward to the Champions League, but he also has big plans at national level: “I want to win all the titles. Supercup, cup and championship.” He has already made a name for himself in German volleyball; he was voted the best libero in the league by the broadcast platform Bouncehouse last season and there are numerous highlight videos of his moves.
Most still know him as Satoshi Ide because he was known by that surname before taking his wife’s surname. “He’s extremely strong in defence, that’s amazing,” says Volleys Managing Director Kaweh Niroomand. “What sets him apart in particular is that he was even used as a setter in one game. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
In addition, he can show a lot of experience. “I expect a real sensation from his presence on the field.”
Tsuiki looks back with satisfaction on his two years in Frankfurt. The coaches and players are great and he also liked the city. “It felt like family.” For United Volleys, however, his move is a bitter loss, after all, Tsuiki was considered one of the pillars of the team.
Some fans protested on Instagram. Nevertheless, Niroomand takes possible criticism calmly: “Berlin has to see that it can stand up to the demands. It’s also a question of acting quickly, early and with foresight.” After it became clear that former libero Santiago Danani would be leaving the club and going to Poland instead, the Volleys immediately started asking around, because Niroomand knows: “Liberos are on hard to find in this level.”
Tsuiki currently spends his free time in Japan, during the day with his family and at night he helps out in a friend’s bar. “It’s a bit tough, but it’s really fun.” He has already traveled a bit. First he was on the island of Okinawa, surrounded by crystal clear water and the most beautiful bathing beaches in Japan, and then on the island of Hokkaido. “It was really dreamy.”
Before leaving, he also wants to enjoy the food in his home country – in case the restaurants in Berlin disappoint. Although Niroomand himself has no affinity for Japanese food, he would be happy “if he gave us access to it and maybe even changed our own preferences as a result”. There would be at least 150 chances.