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Japan National Football Team

Governing bodyJapan Football Association
StadiumNational Olympic Stadium (57,363 seats)
ManagerA. Nishino

Fixtures / Results / TV Schedules / Live Streams

*All times are shown in your local time


Kosuke NakamuraK. Nakamura
Masaaki HigashiguchiM. Higashiguchi
Eiji KawashimaE. Kawashima
Hiroki SakaiH. Sakai
Maya YoshidaM. Yoshida
Gen ShōjiG. Shōji
Yuto NagatomoY. Nagatomo
Assists: 1
Tomoaki MakinoT. Makino
Naomichi UedaN. Ueda
Wataru EndoW. Endo
Gotoku SakaiG. Sakai
Keisuke HondaK. Honda
Goals: 1, Assists: 1
Takashi UsamiT. Usami
Makoto HasebeM. Hasebe
Shinji KagawaS. Kagawa
Goals: 1, Assists: 1
Takashi InuiT. Inui
Goals: 2, Assists: 1
Gaku ShibasakiG. Shibasaki
Assists: 1
Genki HaraguchiG. Haraguchi
Goals: 1
Ryota OshimaR. Oshima
Hotaru YamaguchiH. Yamaguchi
Yoshinori MutoY. Muto
Yūya ŌsakoY. Ōsako
Goals: 1
Shinji OkazakiS. Okazaki
23K. Nakamura 2300000400000
12M. Higashiguchi 3200000400000
1E. Kawashima 353604400000100
19H. Sakai 283604400000000
22M. Yoshida 293604400000000
3G. Shōji 252703300100000
5Y. Nagatomo 313604400001000
20T. Makino 31901100300100
2N. Ueda 2300000400000
6W. Endo 2500000400000
21G. Sakai 27901100300000
4K. Honda 32473030411000
11T. Usami 26682111300000
17M. Hasebe 342784310100100
10S. Kagawa 292323302111000
14T. Inui 302924311121100
7G. Shibasaki 263414402001100
8G. Haraguchi 272463302110000
18R. Oshima 2500000400000
16H. Yamaguchi 271093120300000
13Y. Muto 26821101300000
15Y. Ōsako 283084311110000
9S. Okazaki 32673121300000


Japan's FIFA World Cup squad and players to watch

It's been a rocky road for Japan leading up to the upcoming World Cup. Coach Vahid Halilhodzic was jettisoned in April despite leading them successfully through qualifying, with Akira Nishino hired in his stead. Unfortunately, Nishino's first game in charge didn't go as planned, as the Samurai Blue lost 2-0 to Ghana in a friendly warm-up, and they'll hope to get back on track against Switzerland  and Paraguay later this month as they have yet to win a game in 2018.

Coach's mission

Japan are in a pretty balanced group at the upcoming World Cup, with Senegal, Colombia, and Poland for company, so their chances of qualifying for the round of 16 appear to be pretty good. To date, the Asian nation have never gotten beyond that juncture and last made it to the round of 16 at the 2014 edition. Interestingly enough, they have alternated between group stage exits and round of 16 placements since first qualifying for their first World Cup in 1998, so if one believes in patterns, then the Samurai Blue are at least due to make it to the first knockout rounds in Russia.

New recruits

Overall, Japan is a largely experienced team. However, there are a few new faces in this 23-man squad, including 23-year-old shot-stopper Kōsuke Nakamura, 23-year-old defender Naomichi Ueda, and 25-year-old midfielder Ryota Oshima. All three have fewer than five caps.

Experienced faces

Leicester City's Shinji Okazaki is among the star faces on this team and with his 50 goals, will be expected to help spearhead Japan's attack. Other veterans include Keisuke Honda, who Serie A fans will remember from his AC Milan days and now plies his trade with Mexican side Pachuca, as well as Yuto Nagatomo, who once played for Inter and now plays his club football for Galatasaray. Then there's skipper Makoto Hasebe, a stalwart for Eintracht Frankfurt, as well as Southampton's Maya Yoshida.


Japan have opted to leave Kento Misao, Yosuke Ideguchi and Takuma Asano at home following their 2-0 defeat to Ghana.

Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol)

Defenders: Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers), Maya Yoshida (Southampton)

Midfielders: Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Borrusia Dortmund), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka)

Forwards: Yoshinori Muto (Mainz), Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City), Yuya Osako (Cologne)


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Japan Football Association Info & Statistics

History Founded: 1921, Affiliated: 1929
Uniform Jerseys: Navy blue, Shorts: Navy blue, Stockings: Navy blue
World Cup Appearances 6: 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018
Continental Titles First: Asian Nations Cup (1992, 2000, 2004, 2011)
Best Results First: FIFA Women's World Cup Final 2011, FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Final 2014
Second: FIFA Confederations Cup 2001, FIFA Women's World Cup Final 2015, FIFA U-20 World Cup Final 1999, Olympic Football Tournament Women Final 2012, FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Final 2010, 2016
Third: FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Final 2012, 2016, Olympic Football Tournament Final 1968
Fourth: FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Final 2005, Olympic Football Tournament Women Final 2008, Olympic Football Tournament Final 2012

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