A potential Golden era for Japan is in the offing, top class talent such as Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda are on their books and will be looking to emulate the 2002 success of rivals South Korea.
Japan find themselves in arguably the weakest of the eight groups and therefore have a real chance of qualifying for round 2 but that’s when things get difficult. A likely match up with Italy, England or Uruguay could prove a step too far but then that was said of Korea 12 years ago.
The Confederations Cup this time last year gave the Asian champions the chance to acclimatize to Brazil’s conditions but results didn’t go their way, losing all three games against the hosts, Italy and Mexico.
Samurai Blue will be looking to martial past Colombia, Greece and the Ivory Coast just like they cut through the opposition in qualifying, Japan were the first team to qualify for the World Cup after a 1-1 draw at home to Australia who would go onto qualify later on.
They lost only once in qualifying, losing 2-1 away to Jordan when one point would have sealed their place in Brazil but it wasn’t to be and they had to wait just a little longer.