Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni has come out with his final 23 man squad for the World Cup 2014 and it rings no surprises since the Italian has named his strongest squad possible. This even includes players like Shinji Kagawa, who has found the first team opportunities limited at Old Trafford this season. Yet, the former Borussia Dortmund man remains an important part of the Japanese squad partly because Zaccheroni plays him in his favourite position. At Manchester United, he has been used out wide, which has not always been his position.
AC Milan midfielder Honda is also in the squad and these two players will be getting on the headlines, as Japan prepare to fly out for Brazil in the next few weeks. Japan will be coming up against Greece, Ivory Coast, and Colombia in the group stages. Hence, they are seen as having a great opportunity to reach the knockout stages since none of the teams are favourites. Colombia were thought to be the favourites, but the injury to Radamel Falcao has changed the whole dynamic of the group. Zaccheroni says that he is feeling confident ahead of the World Cup 2014.
This could be his last tournament in charge of the Japanese national team since he has been linked with a return to club football with AC Milan.
“The basic thing I looked for was quality, and we have a lot of players with that. The next thing was the harmony of the team, because that will be important. I went for players with a high level of tactical intelligence and versatility. As much as possible, I wanted players who could play in two or more positions,” said Zaccheroni, who has made the Japanese football team into a dream for attacking football, but they have struggled with defence of late.