Japan announce 23-man squad for FIFA World Cup; Honda and Kagawa in
Japan have revealed their 23-man final squad for the FIFA World Cup 2014. Manager Alberto Zaccheroni announced his squad on Monday which will feature 12 European based players out of the 23 travelling to Brazil.
Keisuke Honda of AC Milan returns in the midfield for the Blue Samurai and will partner alongside Manchester United playmaker Shinji Kagawa. Honda was instrumental in the qualification phases for the country and despite having an off time with AC Milan, he has been included in the final list.
Zaccheroni has also gone with experience in the forward line as veteran striker Yoshito Okubu resumes his role in the squad . Okubu, who plays in the J-League for the Kawasaki Frontale club, has netted 8 goals this season. He was a part of the team that played in South Africa four years ago.
Yuto Nagamoto of Inter Milan and Atsuto Uchida of FC Schalke have been selected as the full backs while Southampton’s 32-year-old defender, Maya Yoshida remains as the first choice at the centre of Japan’s defence.
Japan are in Group C and they start their journey in Brazil on June 14 against Ivory Coast. They will be realistic about their qualification chances after they have been seeded in a competitive group comprising of Greece, Ivory Coast and Colombia.
Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima, Shusaku Nishikawa, Shuichi Gonda.
Defenders: Masahiko Inoha, Yutu Nagamoto, Aysuto Uchida,Maya Yoshida, Yasuyuki Konno, Masato Morishige, Gotoku Sakai, Hiroku Sakai.
Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo, Hotaru Yamaguchi, Makoto Hasebe, Toshihiro Aoyama, Shinji Kagawa, Kesuke Honda, Hiroshi Kiyotake.
Forwards: Shinji Okazaki, Yoshito Okubo, Yuya Osako.