rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » World Cup: Will Japan win Brazilian hearts again?

World Cup: Will Japan win Brazilian hearts again?

June 14, 2014 15:16 IST

World Cup: Will Japan win Brazilian hearts again?

     Next

Next

Japan are hoping for strong support from Brazilian fans when they take on Ivory Coast in their opening World Cup Group C game in Recife’s Pernambuco arena on Saturday.

Catch the complete coverage of the football World Cup  

The team won the hearts of many Brazilians at the 2013 Confederations Cup with their attacking football, especially in a 4-3 defeat to Italy.

"At the Confederations Cup we received wonderful support form the Brazilians and also from the Japanese," team captain Masoko Hasebe told a news conference on the eve of the match.

Japan's Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni said that he too had felt the love of Brazilian soccer fans for his team, saying: "Already when we arrived at the hotel there was a wonderful atmosphere."

The team lost all three of their games at the Confederations Cup but Zaccheroni said they had matured since then.

"I’m a man of beliefs and the team has grown, the team has developed. Since then, an additional ten months have elapsed, we have acquired additional experience. I’m keen to see how much we’ve developed."

Click NEXT to read more...


Image: Shinji Kagawa runs during a Japan training session at Arena Pernambuco on Friday
Photographs: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

     Next

'We are talking about a very important match'

Prev     More
Prev

More

Despite several contentious decisions in the opening matches, Zaccheroni dismissed concerns over the officiating, saying that “the best referees” were in charge.

- Catch the complete coverage of the football World Cup  

At the helm of Japan since 2010, the 61-year-old said had a good idea which players would start against the Ivorians.

"In principle I’ve already made my decision, but because we have 24 hours to go I’m going to reflect on it further," he told reporters.

"We are talking about a very important match, I don’t want to be too hasty in making my decision.”

Japan's other two opponents in Group C are Greece and Colombia.

 


Image: Didier Drogba runs with the ball during a Cote D'Ivoire training session at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Pernambuco on Friday
Photographs: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Prev     More