Japan

Japan

Appearances at World Cups

The national team of Japan played its first match in history back in 1917 when it was walloped by China. More than a hundred of years have passed since then, but Japan has been participating in final parts of world cups only since 1998 after qualifying for the WC in France. It's been almost impossible to imagine a world cup without representatives of the Land of the Rising Sun since then, though they often limited to group stages. The Japanese team qualified for Russia without problems. Mexican specialist Javier Aguirre was to prepare the team for the tournament, but a conflict with team leaders made the Japanese Football Federation look for a new coach. In the end, Vahid Halilhodžić became its coach, the last workplace of the specialist was Algeria whose team reached the 1/8 finals at the 2014 WC. Japan got a ticket to the WC one match to the end of the qualification and calmly started to prepare for an attempt to finally go through the bewitched 1/8 finals.

year

G

W

D

L

М

total

1998

3

0

0

3

1-4

4 th in group

2002

4

2

1

1

5-3

1/8

2006

3

0

1

2

2-7

4 th in group

2010

4

2

1

1

4-2

1/8

2014

3

0

1

2

2-6

4 th in group

Total

17

4

4

9

14-22

-

Head coach and best player

Unity has always been the main power of the Japanese squad. This WC won't be an exception, Japan is going to it without an expressed strong leader. Keisuke Honda, former CSKA defender, can be considered so remotely, of course. However, now he's playing in the Mexican league, and he hasn't improved his skills after CSKA. Borussia halfback Shinji Kagawa as well as Leicester forward Shinji Okazaki are also candidates for this role. But it seems their time is already over.

The head coach will probably become the driver of this team. Vahid Halilhodžić hasn't reached the ¼ finals at world cups. But neither has he chaired such a squad as Japan. The tandem of the coach and Eastern team looks quite nice and will probably become a discovery of the World Cup.

  • Preliminary squad: Kawashima – Nagatomo, Makino, Yoshida, Sakai – Haraguchi, Yamaguchi, Kagawa, Hasebe, Honda – Okazaki.

Base camp and cities

Japan chose a comfortable base camp of Rubin FC in Kazan, which Iran also wanted to get, as a location during the WC. Such a choice is quite logical, the national team of Japan will begin its road at the WC with a match in Saransk against Colombia. Then Japan will fly to Yekaterinburg, while the last match will be in Volgograd. They will play against the strong teams of Senegal and Poland.

Photo: fifa.com

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