Japan will be making their seventh appearance at a FIFA World Cup in Qatar 2022 when the World gathers for the grandest footballing event.
The first team to name their squad for the tournament which kicks-off in seventeen (17) days from today (November 20), Japan is first on SportsRation’s countdown to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
JAPAN AT THE FIFA WORLD CUP: APPEARANCE
Japan have participated in six (6) editions of the FIFA World Cup, the first in 1998.
Since then, Japan has qualified for consecutive editions, 2002 (as co-hosts), 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and will be one of 32 Nations at the 2022 edition in Qatar.
Japan have yo-yoed between failing to go past the group stage and getting knocked out at the Round of 16.
The Samurai Blues have reached the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup in 2002, 2010 and 2018 in Russia.
Of their 11 FIFA World Cup defeats, Japan’s heaviest loss were 4-1 group stage results vs Brazil and Colombia at the 2006 and 2014 editions respectively.
Japan have won 5 FIFA World Cup games to date. Their biggest win a 3-1 victory over Denmark in the last group match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Honda, Endo and Okazaki with the goals to secure victory for the Japanese to reach the last 16 in South Africa.
MOST WORLD CUP APPEARANCES
The trio of Makoto Hasebe, Eiji Kawashima and Yuto Nagatomo have played in 11 FIFA World Cup matches for Japan in three editions (2010, 2014, 2020).
Who else, Keisuke Honda.
The prolific Japanese forward has found the back of the net four times in ten FIFA World Cup matches.
FIRST EVER WORLD CUP GOAL
Masashi Nakayama scored Japan’s first ever FIFA World Cup goal in a 1-2 loss to Jamaica in June 1998.
2022 FIFA WORLD CUP SQUAD
Japan Head Coach Hajime Moriyasu on November 1, 2022 announced his 26-man squad for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
On the list are Goalkepeers Kawashima Eiji (Strasbourg) Gonda Shuichi (Shimizu S-Pulse) and Schmidt Daniel (Sint-Truidense)
In defence, Arsenal’s Tomiyasu Takeiro alongside Nagatomo Yuto (FC Tokyo), Nakayama Yuta (Huddersfield), Yoshida Maya (Schalke), Taniguchi Shogo (Kawasaki Frontale), Itakura Ko (Borussia Monchengladbach), Ito Hiroki (Stuttgart), Sakai Hiroki (Urawa Reds) and Yamane Miki (Kawasaki Frontale) are options in defence.
The Invited Midfielders are Wataru Endo (Stuttgart), Tanaka Ao (Dusseldorf), Morita Hidemasa (Sporting), Shibasaki Gaku (Leganes), Ito Junya (Stade de Reims), Doan Ritsu (Freiburg), Kamada Daichi (Eintracht Frankfurt), Minamino Takumi (Monaco), Kubo Takefusa (Real Sociedad), MItoma Kaoru (Brighton), and Soma Yuki (Nagoya Grampus)
Three strikers are on the Japanese list to Qatar. They are Maeda Daizen (Celtic), Asano Takuma (Bochum) and Ueda Ayase (Cercle Brugge).
JAPAN’S 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP TARGET
While announcing his squad for the tournament, Japan’s head coach Hajime Moriyasu was clear the Samurai Blues will be targeting a first ever Quater Final spot.
He said ” We’re a resilient group who will fight to the finish.
“Our target is the quarter-finals, no less than that. We realise getting there will not be easy and will need the support of our fans and the entire country.
“Hopefully, the view we will have in the end will be better than the ones we’ve had in the past. ”
To reach this target, Japan must get through a Group E that houses Germany, Spain and Costa Rica before plotting a first ever Last 16 win following three previous unsuccessful attempts.
JAPAN’S 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP GROUP STAGE SCHEDULE
Japan will kick-off their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign Vs Germany on November 23, 2022.
Four days later, Japan will face Costa Rica before taking on Spain in the last group game on December 1.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place in Qatar from November 20 to December 18, 2022.
How far do you think Japan can go at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar ?