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The Blue Samurai’s two decades on the big stage

the blue samurais two decades on the big stage - The Blue Samurai’s two decades on the big stage

  • Japan head to Russia 20 years on since their first FIFA Global Cup look​
  • They have got now not neglected a event since France 1998
  • Simplest Brazil can declare to were to each and every event since their debut

But even so Brazil, who’re but to omit a FIFA Global Cup™, Japan are the one crew to have seemed at each and every finals since making their debut.

Now set for his or her 6th look and twenty years on since taking their opening bow at France 1998, FIFA.com takes a glance again to look how the Blue Samurai have advanced on the finals.

1998: Japan introduce themselves to the sector
Spherical: Workforce Level

“I began understanding about soccer out of doors of Japan and I began having a dream. However I didn’t have an opportunity since the international didn’t take a look at the Jap J-League. In any case, we had an opportunity as a result of we performed on the Global Cup in France. Then one among my desires got here true.”
Hidetoshi Nakata, midfielder at France 1998

Whilst France 1998 might not be fondly remembered for the consequences at the box – struggling defeats to Argentina and fellow debutants Croatia and Jamaica – it introduced the Blue Samurai to the footballing international. With the likes of Nakata and Shinji Ono happening to turn out extraordinarily a hit in Europe, their logo of quick-passing, agile soccer briefly become the country’s signature logo.

2002: Bringing the festivities house
Spherical: Ultimate-16

“I feel we’re reaping the rewards of the 2002 Global Cup, which had an enormous affect on my nation. I wouldn’t be stunned to look a lot of Jap avid gamers at large Eu golf equipment within the subsequent ten years.”
Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, defender in 2002 and captain in 2006, talking in 2013

Whilst continuously overshadowed by way of co-hosts Korea Republic’s run to the semi-finals, in addition to taking part in the eagerness of a house event, Japan extremely joyful at the box, too. Racking up seven issues within the team degree, in addition to incomes their first Global Cup win with a 1-Zero victory over Russia, their run used to be most effective ended by way of a solitary target towards eventual bronze medallists Turkey.

2006: Dispatched by way of the holders
Spherical: Workforce Level

“That is the sort of miserable consequence. It is all of the extra disappointing as a result of I assumed we had what it takes.”
Zico, trainer at Germany 2006

Whilst the painful ultimate blow used to be inflicted by way of his free-flowing compatriots, the Brazilian trainer’s desires of main Japan out of the crowd phases once more in the long run swung on their opening sport, collapsing within the ultimate six mins. Tim Cahill struck two times in a three-goal revival by way of Australia to clinch a Three-1 win and go away satisfied recollections few and a long way between from Germany.




2010: Class in Africa
Spherical: Ultimate-16

“These days will likely be a turning level for Jap soccer. The crew’s efficiency will supply children with inspiration to make stronger. We’ve got showcased the growth of Jap soccer.”
Daisuke Matsui, midfielder at South Africa 2010

Marked by way of some dead-ball pleasure towards Denmark – in what used to be a instantly shoot-out for the last-16 – Jap enthusiasts noticed their best-ever Global Cup soccer in South Africa, led by way of the impossible to resist Keisuke Honda. Functioning at a degree that noticed him dubbed the ‘Jap Maradona’, the likes of he, Shinji Okazaki and Matsui shone, most effective to fall to Paraguay on consequences.

2014: Frustration in Brazil
Spherical: Workforce Level

“I feel it will be significant for Japan’s soccer to stay the similar symbol and plan for the long run. Alternatively when it comes to the entire team degree on this Global Cup, it used to be disappointing.”
Makoto Hasebe, captain at Brazil 2014

After impressing 4 years previous, they picked up the place they left off, with Honda hanging once more of their opener towards Côte d’Ivoire. Alternatively, two short objectives noticed their good fortune flip and so they left following a chastening defeat to Colombia – who will likely be their first combatants in Russia.

2018: Redemption in Russia?

“It’s the Global Cup, so I need us to turn that we’re just right sufficient to get to the knockout spherical. However to start with I need the avid gamers to accomplish in the way in which that they’re able to.”

New trainer Akira Nishino’s prediction for Russia, having changed Vahid Halilhodzic in April, used to be one who tempered expectancies. A solitary win over New Zealand since topping Asia’s Workforce B has left enthusiasts not sure of what they are going to see once they stroll out towards Colombia.

Alternatively, with Senegal and Poland making up Workforce H, it’s arguably as vast open and unpredictable as they arrive in Russia. Having alternated between team stage-exits and achieving the knockout phases since 1998, can they proceed that custom and break out this day trip?


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