Wednesday, 5th June 2013
In General Japan News,
Japan first to qualify for 2014 World Cup
It's official, Japan is the first team to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup set to take place in Brazil from June 12th until July 13th.
The team, under the leadership of Alberto Zaccheroni, managed a 1-1 draw against Australia in Saitama to put them through.
Fifa, football's governing body, suggested that the team has so far been consistently good, describing how they have "maintained their superb form during the 19-month qualifying period".
Aldo Rebelo, Brazil's sports minister, said that their qualification "is a guarantee that we'll have a great opening game for the Confederation Cup. A four-time continental champion, Japanese football has been evolving year after year."
While Fifa suggested that it is yet to be proven whether Japan has the strongest team it has ever had, "the progress they have made in qualification is evident".
It makes particular note of Keisuke Honda, who Fifa states "has been thriving since his return to his attacking midfielder role".
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Homare Sawa wins the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year (10th January 2012)