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Team Analysis: JAPAN squad for FIFA World Cup 2022

FIFA World Cup 2022 JAPAN Squad

by Kolkata Today
JAPAN Squad FIFA World Cup 2022

The Japanese have become a regular feature at the World Cup. They haven’t missed a tournament since France 1998, making Qatar their seventh consecutive finals appearance. After an up and down qualification campaign, Japan made it through thanks to a final push by Moriyasu. Minamino, Kubo, Tomiyasu, Endo and Furuhashi have all brought their European football experience to the national team. Japan are always a fun team to watch given how dynamic they are.

Japan will be hoping it is seventh time lucky in Qatar, as they launch their latest bid to make a run deep into the World Cup knockout stages.

Having qualified for the last six straight finals prior to 2022, the Samurai Blue’s appearances on the biggest stage in football have followed a familiar pattern, as they have yo-yoed between exits at the group stage and defeat in the Round of 16.

At Russia 2018, they were beaten at that last-16 stage by eventual semifinalists Belgium.

Four years on, they know they will have their work cut out to even make it that far, with Spain, Costa Rica and Germany their opponents in what has been tagged as the traditional ‘Group of Death’ this time around.

Still, manager Hajime Moriyasu has a settled squad and was the first coach from any of the competing nations to announce his final 26-man squad for the tournament.

Here we look at who will carry the Samurai Blue’s challenge in Qatar.

Final 26-man Japan World Cup squad

The Blue Samurai coach opted to go early, and did not make his preliminary squad public, instead cutting straight to his final 26 names, who were announced at a press conference on November 1.

That list was temporarily reduced to 25 players with Yuta Nakayama ruled out with injury, before Shuto Machino was named as his replacement.

The most notable absences at the time were Celtic pair Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate, although club teammate Daizen Maeda has made the cut.

Vissel Kobe forward Yuya Osako and Union Berlin midfielder Genki Haraguchi were also omissions, but Nagoya Grampus winger Yuki Soma has earned a surprise call.

Daichi Kamada and Takefusa Kubo add star quality to the squad, and will be tasked with providing the creativity to unlock tough Group E opposition in Qatar.

Experience comes in the form of captain Maya Yoshida and Hiroki Sakai, who will feature in their third straight World Cup, while 39-year-old goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima make a fourth trip to the finals.


Japan start their challenge in Qatar by facing Germany on November 23, before a clash with Costa Rica four days later. They end their group challenge against Spain on December 1.

Here’s a look at the players who made their final list:

Position No. Player Club Age Caps
GK 1 Eiji Kawashima Strasbourg (FRA) 39 95
GK 12 Shuichi Gonda Shimizu S-Pulse (JPN) 33 34
GK 23 Daniel Schmidt Sint-Truiden (BEL) 30 11
DEF 5 Yuto Nagatomo Tokyo (JPN) 36 138
DEF 22 Maya Yoshida Schalke (GER) 34 122
DEF 19 Hiroki Sakai Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN) 32 72
DEF 16 Takehiro Tomiyasu Arsenal (ENG) 23 29
DEF 2 Miki Yamane Kawasaki Frontale (JPN) 28 15
DEF 3 Shogo Taniguchi Kawasaki Frontale (JPN) 31 14
DEF 4 Kou Itakura Borussia Monchengladbach (GER) 25 13
DEF 26 Hiroki Ito Stuttgart (GER) 23 6
MID 7 Gaku Shibasaki Leganes (SPA) 30 60
MID 6 Wataru Endo Stuttgart (GER) 29 43
MID 10 Takumi Minamino Monaco (FRA) 27 44
MID 14 Junya Ito Reims (FRA) 29 38
MID 8 Ritsu Doan Freiburg (GER) 24 29
MID 15 Daichi Kamada Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) 26 22
MID 11 Takefusa Kubo Real Sociedad (SPA) 21 20
MID 13 Hidemasa Morita Sporting (POR) 27 17
MID 17 Ao Tanaka Fortuna Dusseldorf (GER) 24 15
MID 9 Kaoru Mitoma Brighton (ENG) 25 9
MID 24 Yuki Soma Nagoya Grampus (JPN) 25 8
FWD 18 Takuma Asano Bochum (GER) 27 37
FWD 21 Ayase Ueda Club Brugge (BEL) 24 11
FWD 25 Daizen Maeda Celtic (SCO) 25 8
FWD 20 Shuto Machino Shonan Bellmare (JPN) 23 4


Japan World Cup group

Group E shapes up to be arguably one of the toughest in Qatar, and Japan will have their work cut out if they are to make progress to the knockout rounds.

An opening clash with Germany is as tough a start as they could have asked for, while their group-stage challenge ends with an equally difficult looking fixture against 2010 winners Spain.

They will likely need to take at least something from one of those matches, and hope that they can win convincingly against Costa Rica, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on November 27.

Japan Group E fixtures and match schedule

Date Match Time (ET) Stadium
Wed, Nov. 23 Germany vs. Japan 8 a.m. Khalifa Int’l
Sun, Nov. 27 Japan vs. Costa Rica 5 a.m. Ahmad Bin Ali
Thurs, Dec. 1 Spain vs. Japan 2 p.m. Khalifa Int’l

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