Team profile: Japan

The current Asian Champions head to their third consecutive World Cup Finals and their continual improvement suggests they will be right in the race for a place in the knockout phase.

    FIFA Ranking: 18

    Coach: Zico

    Key players: Hidetoshi Nakata, Naohiro Takahara, Shunsuke Nakamura

    World Cup record: Third appearance

    Best Finish: Second Round 2002

    Qualifying route: Won Asian Group B

    Key question: Can Brazilian Zico mastermind the downfall of his homeland?

    Squad:

    Goalkeepers #
    Seigo Narazaki 1
    Yoichi Doi 12
    Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi 23
    Defenders
    Teruyuki Moniwa 2
    Yuichi Komano 3
    Tsuneyasu Miyamoto 5
    Koji Nakata 6
    Alessandro Santos 14
    Keisuke Tsuboi 19
    Akira Kaji 21
    Yuji Nakazawa 22
    Midfielders
    Yasuhito Endo 4
    Hidetoshi Nakata 7
    Mitsuo Ogasawara 8
    Shunsuke Nakamura 10
    Takashi Fukunishi 15
    Junichi Inamoto 17
    Shinji Ono 18
    Forwards
    Naohiro Takahara 9
    Seiichiro Maki 11
    Atsushi Yanagisawa 13
    Masashi Oguro 16
    Keiji Tamada 20

    Group matches:

    v Australia, 13:00 GMT, Monday 12th June - Kaiserslautern

    v Croatia, 13:00 GMT, Sunday 18th June - Nuremberg

    v Brazil, 19:00 GMT, Thursday 22nd June - Dortmund

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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