It’s the FIFA World Cup and people are already getting excited for the tournament’s first match between Brazil and Croatia. Brazil, this year’s host, is called the soccer-crazed capitol of the world by soccer fans, so we can expect this World Cup to be memorable for them and, of course, for Japanese as well.
At the last World Cup in 2010, Japan’s National team won and advanced to the knockout-stage. They were defeated by Paraguay and ended up in the 16th spot overall, which is the highest result for them, equalling their efforts during the 2002 World Cup held in Korea and Japan.
But this year’s team is an entirely different beast and let me introduce three of the most well-known players on the “Samurai Blue”, the nickname of Japan’s National Soccer team.
Keisuke Honda plays for AC Milan, one of the cerebrated soccer team in Italy and the world. When all is said and done, his firm confidence is really what gives him such prowess on the field. He often says things that are reckless like saying Japan will win the World Cup in a recent press conference. He ‘s a person of the truly hard working type not like other plays who just say they have big goals and do nothing. “If it is for Japan, I’ll run towards the goal,” he said recently.
Even though he is superb player without a doubt, he has been in slump while trying to be an integral part of the team. He has been adjusting to be perfect condition for World Cup and has not lost his firm confidence for soccer and himself. “We will bring a big surprise for everyone. I appreciate people who have criticized me for my bad conditioning, but I am sure I can adjust and succeed at the World Cup,” he said.
Shinji Kagawa is on Japan’s national team, but he also plays for Manchester United. Given the No. 10 on his jersey, he’s the team’s trequartista or playmaker. He’s a creative and fantastic player, and he certainly knows how to handle pressure playing for one of the UK’s most recognized teams.
He’s played an active role on the team for two years of successive championships in Dortumund, Germany. One of his former teammates, Mats Hummels said of him, “Shinji is definitely one of world class soccer players. I don’t want antagonize him.” Everyone has recognized his outstanding soccer skill and he also has an indispensable position on the Manchester United team.
The last player I’ll mention is Yuto Nagatomo who plays on Japan’s national team and for and Internazionale Milano in Italy. Internazionale Milano is prominent and the rival team with ACMilan, so you can expect that he and Honda have squared off at one point or another. Needless to say, he has outstanding skill.
Furthermore, he has a friendly personality and he’s beloved by fans and his teammates alike. He always seems to be at the centre of the team and he’s a mood maker. Captain of his team, Javier Zanetti, said, “It doesn’t mean that Yuto got the position by chance. There is seldom like him who can become familiar with everybody easily and quickly. That’s why everybody likes him.” We can expect to see great things from Nagatomo at this year’s World Cup.
Japan team in Brazil this year has some good talent including the others who I did not introduce here. Let’s hope they’re able to band together and get results. The team’s first game will be on Saturday against Côte d’Ivoire at 9:00.
Let’s cheer for them here in Toronto! The Japanese football club of Toronto is going to hold public viewing event for Japanese, and you can see all the details on their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SamuraiBlueProject