Former Japanese midfielder and current head coach Hajime Moriyasu announced the 26-man World Cup squad to represent Japan. Japan were the first team to announce the squad for Qatar World Cup.
First team to arrive at Qatar
Japan were the first team to arrive at Qatar. The Samurai Blue are stationed at Doha and will make use of Al Sadd Sports Club’s training facility. They will kick start their World Cup campaign with the fixture against Germany on 23rd November. Japan find themselves in a tough group along with former champions Germany and Spain.
Kubo and Kamada leading Samurai Blue’s World Cup hopes
Moriyasu took the reigns of Japan post 2018 World Cup and the team has been on an upward rise. Daichi Kamada and Takefusa Kubo will be leading the Japanese troops and will look to cause some upsets in the tournament. Japan will be appearing in their seventh straight FIFA World Cup. Streets won’t forget the fight Japan put up against Belgium in 2018 World Cup knock-outs. Japan had one foot in the quarter-finals until Belgium turned the game to their favour in dying minutes.
Japan will be looking at Takumi Minamino to step up in the World Cup after a mediocre outing with Monaco and previously with Liverpool. Skipper Maya Yoshida and Kaoru Mitoma are some of the key players that Japan will be looking forward to. Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu will be the x-factor for the Samurai Blue with his versatility.
“I’ve made the best, comprehensive selection possible, placing importance on our activities thus far, the situations the players are facing [at their clubs] and with how we plan to play at the World Cup in mind,” said manager Hajime Moriyasu during the announcement.
Japan’s 26-man squad for 2022 FIFA World Cup
Eiji Kawashima (Strasbourg/France), Shuichi Gonda (Shimizu S-Pulse/Japan), Daniel Schmidt (Sint-Truiden/Belgium).
Maya Yoshida (Schalke/Germany), Yuto Nagatomo (FC Tokyo/Japan), Hiroki Sakai (Urawa Reds/Japan), Shogo Taniguchi (Kawasaki Frontale/Japan), Miki Yamane (Kawasaki Frontale/Japan), Ko Itakura (Borussia Monchengladbach/Germany), Hiroki Ito (Stuttgart/Germany), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal/England).
Gaku Shibasaki (Leganes/Spain), Wataru Endo (Stuttgart/Germany), Junya Ito (Reims/France), Takumi Minamino (Monaco/France), Hidemasa Morita (Sporting Lisbon/Portugal), Daichi Kamada (Eintracht Frankfurt/Germany), Yuki Soma (Nagoya Grampus/Japan), Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton/England), Ritsu Doan (Freiburg/Germany), Ao Tanaka (Fortuna Dusseldorf/Germany), Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad/Spain).
Takuma Asano (Bochum/Germany), Shuto Machino (Shonan Bellmare/Japan), Daizen Maeda (Celtic/Scotland), Ayase Ueda (Cercle Brugge/Belgium).