When opening his World Cup against Germany, Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu was a little more cautious than a few weeks ago, when he clearly announced the color of the quarter-finals , as a goal. Tuesday, at a press conference, he was content to speak of the eighth, the glass ceiling of the Samurai Blue in the World Cup (2002, 2010, 2018). Difficult, indeed, to hold forth in a group which also includes Spain and Costa Rica.
But all is well for a full selection, considered by many in the country as the strongest in its history, as evidenced, for example, by the presence of eight players playing in Germany. This is the case, in particular, of the captain, Maya Yoshida (Schalke 04).
Ito holder, Minamino in balance with Kubo
“You learn a lot by playing in a country that has been world champion several times, believes the central defender. We try to provide information about our opponents to our teammates. In general, it’s gratifying to see a maximum of players playing abroad. » Where did the side and former Marseillais return, Hiroki Sakai (Urawa Red Diamonds) and Yuto Nagatomo (FC Tokyo).
They are, in fact, 22 to have left Japan, including the “French” Junya Ito (Reims), Takumi Minamino (Monaco) and Eiji Kawashima (Strasbourg). The first will start as a right midfielder, while the second is in balance, on the left, with Takefusa Kubo. On the other hand, for the last, holder in goal at the last three World Cups, he will leave his place this time, at 39, to Shuichi Gonda. Finally, in point, Daizen Maeda holds the rope in front of Takuma Asano.