Japan's slope jump

Japan's slope jump

Take Kubo, with the Japanese team. / Reuters


The country of the rising sun is establishing stars in the big leagues of Europe, but it lacks wickers to shine in the big tournaments

Oscar Bellot

Japan has long dreamed of making the breakthrough in national team football. He does not aspire, of course, to rub shoulders with the great titans and fight for titles, but he does aspire to advance rounds and gain experience. The Land of the Rising Sun enjoys seeing some of its most talented footballers settle into Europe's top leagues, but has yet to make a splash at the World Cup.

Qatar will be the seventh final phase of a World Cup attended by Japan, which has lost three times in the first round and crashed in the second round in the remaining ones. To be present at the event that will take place between November 21 and December 18 in the Arab country, the team led by Hajime Moriyasu had more problems than expected in the qualifying phase. But the final arreón served him to get the ticket for a tournament in which he aspires to exhibit brave football at the hands of figures such as Take Kubo, the skilled midfielder on loan from Real Madrid to Mallorca; Takumi Minamino, a winger who earns a living under Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool; or Wataru Endo, Stuttgart midfielder.

The main handicaps of the Japanese team are the lack of experience of some of its most promising talents, such as Kubo or Doan, who still do not have the status of starters, as well as the weakness in the areas, where they do not have a goalkeeper or a forward of sufficient guarantees to compete against the best.

Eleven type (4-1-4-1)

  • Goalkeeper:

  • Defenses:
    Sakai, Yoshida, Tomiyasu and Nagatomo.

  • Midfielders:
    Endo, J. Ito, Tanaka, Morita, and Minamino.

  • Forward:

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