Nagatomo will lead Japan to unprecedented heights in Qatar Football World Cup

Yuto Nagatomo, who has played in four straight Football World Cups and is on pace to become the first Japanese field player to do so, doesn’t need any additional prodding to express his satisfaction in once again representing Japan in Qatar. With Yuta Nakayama’s injury withdrawal this month, the 36-year-old former Inter Milan player is set to keep the starting fullback position he has carved out for himself since making his tournament debut in South Africa in 2010.

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“My passion for World Cups increases as I watch more of them. I’m confident in my ability to make an explosive impact and present a livelier version of myself than ever, “the FC Tokyo defender recently told Kyodo News. Nagatomo and his Samurai Blue teammates came under fire for a sluggish start to the final round of the Asian Football World Cup qualification. Still, he gained the fans’ respect after stifling Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr. in a June friendly match against Brazil in Tokyo.

Hajime Moriyasu’ s s Japan must get past a tricky Group E that includes two previous champions, Germany and Spain, and Costa Rica, to reach their goal of the quarterfinals, but Nagatomo thrives on challenges like this. “The more powerful my opponents are, the more I can show off my skills. It’s also fantastic that we play Germany in our first game to show off our skills against one of the championship favorites, “Nagatomo.” It’s the ideal circumstance.”

After spending seven years at Inter, where he developed his skills under Argentina great Javier Zanetti, Nagatomo played for Cesena, Galatasaray, and Marseille before returning to his first club FC Tokyo in September 2021. Since then, he has secured a starting position in almost all team games.

No Japanese player has the breadth of expertise that Nagatomo has collected throughout his 11 years in Europe. He wants to impart that knowledge to his colleagues in Qatar during the tournament, along with his positive outlook. “I’ve overcome a lot of challenges. Because of that, I’ve developed an extreme mental fortitude. I’m confident I can do the task, “said Nagatomo. When things get tough, I want to be the other guys’ mental support,” he said.

The difficult draw had dampened Japanese fans’ expectations, which are now much lower than before the 2018 tournament when acting manager Akira Nishino faced criticism for selecting an older team. Nagatomo is sure that four years later, he can still compete with the best in the world despite Japan’s memorable tournament in Russia ending with a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Belgium in the round of 16.

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People believed the team didn’t need aging men before Russia, and he added that during the last Asian qualifiers, we struggled to respond amidst the criticism. “I’m 36 years old, but I’m still in good shape. I’ve played against top players in Europe and at Football World Cups. I don’t forget the things I’ve been through because they’re in my cells. I’m sure I can beat any player or team that comes my way.”

Japan has only ever sent three goalkeepers to the Football World Cup: Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi, Seigo Narazaki, and Eiji Kawashima. Moriyasu sees Kawashima, 39 years old, as the third-best goalkeeper for the next tournament. This means that Nagatomo could be the first player from the country to play in four years. He says that as the father of three boys, playing on the field will also be necessary for him.

“My oldest son is four years old and is starting to understand what his dad does. But he only said he wanted to play soccer after seeing Neymar play when we played Brazil, said Nagatomo. I’ll do my best to get him to say he wants to be like Yuto Nagatomo, who fights with star players at the Football World Cup.”

Japan Football World Cup Preview

Japan will try to break the “round of 16 hex at the FIFA World Cup.” The Japanese are going to their seventh straight Football World Cup, and they have made it to the round of 16 three times. But it hasn’t gone any farther. The Japanese lost to Belgium 3-2 in 2014, Paraguay on penalties in 2010, and Turkey 1-0 in 2002, when Japan and South Korea co-hosted the tournament.

More first-team equals were hard to come by; nevertheless, he finished his Barcelona occupation, having been introduced only 13 times. Injury-hit invocations at Lazio, Real Betis, Numancia, and Gimnastic were disastrous to catch fire things – and he ended up opening his career in Holland with Go Into the future Eagles in 2012 at just 32. For more to know about Football World Cup Tickets, Click here.

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According to Japan’s coach Hajime Moriyasu, the goal this time is to get to the quarterfinals. It won’t be easy, though. Group E has Japan, Germany, Spain, and Costa Rica. This is probably the most complex group in Qatar. At every Football World Cup, the two European teams are consistently among the favorites to win, and Costa Rica made it to the quarterfinals in 2014. Four times it has been won by Germany, and in 2010 it was won by Spain. Moriyasu said, “I don’t think we can win if we do the same things we did in the last six tournaments.” “No matter who is on the field, we need to be able to work and compete.”


After playing friendlies against the U.S. and Ecuador in September with two very different teams, it’s not clear who Moriyasu will pick to play Germany on Nov. 23. If history is any indication, Shuichi Gonda will start in goal, with Takahiro Tomiyasu of Arsenal and Maya Yoshida, who has played in two Football World Cups, in the middle of the defense. The midfield will be led by Stuttgart captain Wataru Endo and Hidemasa Morita.

Eintracht Frankfurt won the Europa League, and Daichi Kamada has had a good season. He is becoming the team’s primary playmaker. Junya Ito should play next to him on the right, but the fast Reims player could also play up front if Moriyasu wants to try something other than the tried-and-true Yuya Osako at center forward.

This year, when Japan lost 1-0 to Brazil at the National Stadium in Tokyo, Ito seemed to be the most dangerous player on the field. Takefusa Kubo, the face of Japan’s Olympic team in Tokyo, and Kaoru Mitoma aren’t sure if they’ll make the team or be the sparkplugs who come off the bench. Mexico beat Japan 3-1 in the Olympics for the bronze medal.

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This team from Japan might not have much Football World Cup experience. With 26 spots open, Moriyasu could pick veterans like goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima and defender Yuto Nagatomo to settle the bench and calm down younger players.


Japan showed that it could beat the best teams in the world at the 2018 Football World Cup in Russia. Japan was ahead of Belgium 2-0 after 52 minutes, but Belgium scored in the last minute of the game to win 3-2. Belgium made it to the semifinals but lost to France, which went on to win the FIFA World Cup. Many people thought the most exciting thing about the game was that, even though Japan lost, they cleaned the locker room perfectly and wrote their hosts a thank-you note in Russian. After their team lost, Japanese fans also picked up trash in the stadium and put it in plastic bags.

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