The 2014 FIFA World Cup is set to be a good one as many talented footballers will be making their way to the South American country of Brazil for a chance to make it into the history books and have World Cup lure forever.
And while 32 teams will be at the tournament, there can only be one champion that will lift the winner’s trophy in Rio de Janeiro on July 13. Amongst these teams is one that will be representing the continent of Asia and one that has a lot of talent. The Japanese senior national team will be ready when the tournament kicks off in June; here is a preview of what to look for within team Japan.
Group C is well balanced
When one looks at the members of Group C, unless they are earnestly biased towards one of the squads, they’ll see a group that is evenly matched. From the solid defense that the Greeks have, to the great attacking ability of Colombia and the technical skill of Japan, and the resolve of the Ivory Coast, Group C appears to be one of the most evenly matched and intriguing groups at this year’s World Cup.
There is not a clear-cut favorite amongst Group C, while one can truly make a case for any one of the four squads to win the group. Japan has the experience, as the 2014 World Cup will mark their fifth consecutive appearance at the finals of the tournament. They were able to reach the knockout stage at the last tournament in South Africa, but have never reached the quarterfinals of a World Cup.
Japan has the skill to make a run at the tournament and time will tell if they are able to prevail in Group C or not.
Who to watch
Three skillful players who each play their club football in Europe lead Japan; Keisuke Honda, Shinji Kagawa, and Shinji Okazaki will all need to be at their best if Japan is to have success in Brazil. These players lead the skillful attack that Japan is known for and needs in order to gain results. The defense may not be quite as stellar and well rounded as a team like Greece, but they have a high-energy left-back who will run all over the pitch without seemingly losing energy in Yuto Nagatomo. The contrasts in style for each team in Group C may mean that this is one of the tightest groups in the tournament.
June 14 versus Ivory Coast in Recife
June 19 versus Greece in Natal
June 24 versus Colombia in Cuiaba