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Japan National Football Team

Japan
Governing bodyJapan Football Association
Affiliated1929
StadiumNational Olympic Stadium (57,363 seats)
ManagerH. Moriyasu
FIFA Ranking24

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Players

#NameAgeA
Goalkeepers
12S. Gonda 333904400000000
23D. Schmidt 3000000400000
1E. Kawashima 3900000400000
Defenders
19H. Sakai 321192111300000
16T. Tomiyasu 241853120300000
22M. Yoshida 343904400001100
5Y. Nagatomo 362134404000000
2M. Yamane 28621101300100
26H. Ito 23441010400000
4K. Itakura 252703300001200
3S. Taniguchi 312102200200100
Midfielders
15D. Kamada 263244402000000
17A. Tanaka 241733212210000
6W. Endo 293034310100100
13H. Morita 272853301100000
10T. Minamino 27573030400000
11T. Kubo 21922202100000
7G. Shibasaki 3000000400000
9K. Mitoma 251614040401000
Attackers
8R. Dōan 242174222220000
18T. Asano 281614040410000
24Y. Soma 25821101300000
20S. Machino 2300000400000
14J. Ito 293234310101000
25D. Maeda 251833303110000
21A. Ueda 24461101300000

News

Japan's FIFA World Cup squad and players to watch

It's been a rocky road for Japan leading up to the upcoming World Cup. Coach Vahid Halilhodzic was jettisoned in April despite leading them successfully through qualifying, with Akira Nishino hired in his stead. Unfortunately, Nishino's first game in charge didn't go as planned, as the Samurai Blue lost 2-0 to Ghana in a friendly warm-up, and they'll hope to get back on track against Switzerland  and Paraguay later this month as they have yet to win a game in 2018.

Coach's mission

Japan are in a pretty balanced group at the upcoming World Cup, with Senegal, Colombia, and Poland for company, so their chances of qualifying for the round of 16 appear to be pretty good. To date, the Asian nation have never gotten beyond that juncture and last made it to the round of 16 at the 2014 edition. Interestingly enough, they have alternated between group stage exits and round of 16 placements since first qualifying for their first World Cup in 1998, so if one believes in patterns, then the Samurai Blue are at least due to make it to the first knockout rounds in Russia.

New recruits

Overall, Japan is a largely experienced team. However, there are a few new faces in this 23-man squad, including 23-year-old shot-stopper Kōsuke Nakamura, 23-year-old defender Naomichi Ueda, and 25-year-old midfielder Ryota Oshima. All three have fewer than five caps.

Experienced faces

Leicester City's Shinji Okazaki is among the star faces on this team and with his 50 goals, will be expected to help spearhead Japan's attack. Other veterans include Keisuke Honda, who Serie A fans will remember from his AC Milan days and now plies his trade with Mexican side Pachuca, as well as Yuto Nagatomo, who once played for Inter and now plays his club football for Galatasaray. Then there's skipper Makoto Hasebe, a stalwart for Eintracht Frankfurt, as well as Southampton's Maya Yoshida.

Absentees

Japan have opted to leave Kento Misao, Yosuke Ideguchi and Takuma Asano at home following their 2-0 defeat to Ghana.

Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol)

Defenders: Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers), Maya Yoshida (Southampton)

Midfielders: Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Borrusia Dortmund), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka)

Forwards: Yoshinori Muto (Mainz), Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City), Yuya Osako (Cologne)

Japan Football Association Info & Statistics

History Founded: 1921, Affiliated: 1929
Uniform Jerseys: Navy blue, Shorts: Navy blue, Stockings: Navy blue
Website www.jfa.jp
World Cup Appearances 6: 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018
Continental Titles First: Asian Nations Cup (1992, 2000, 2004, 2011)
Best Results First: FIFA Women's World Cup Final 2011, FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Final 2014
Second: FIFA Confederations Cup 2001, FIFA Women's World Cup Final 2015, FIFA U-20 World Cup Final 1999, Olympic Football Tournament Women Final 2012, FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Final 2010, 2016
Third: FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Final 2012, 2016, Olympic Football Tournament Final 1968
Fourth: FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Final 2005, Olympic Football Tournament Women Final 2008, Olympic Football Tournament Final 2012

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