W杯出場決定 いざブラジルへ高まる期待

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 6, 2013
Expectations high for men’s soccer team after clinching World Cup berth
W杯出場決定 いざブラジルへ高まる期待(6月5日付・読売社説)

It is great to see Japan’s national soccer team secure a World Cup berth for the fifth consecutive time. We are looking forward to seeing how the national team players will fare in the big event one year from now.

It was the first time ever for Japan to secure a World Cup berth in a home game. The elated team members shared their jubilance with more than 60,000 cheering spectators at a packed Saitama Stadium. It was a moving scene that could only be seen at a home game.
Japan tied with Australia 1-1 on Tuesday in the final round of World Cup qualifiers, winning a ticket to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Japanese first qualified for the World Cup in 1998 held in France–a feat the team had been struggling to accomplish for many years.

Since then, Japan has won a berth in the finals for Germany 2006, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. It qualified automatically for the 2002 event because it was one of that year’s two cohosts, along with South Korea.

J.League serves as springboard

This means the squad has maintained its top-tier status in Asia, which can be attributed to the team’s expanded player depth and smooth introduction of younger, up-and-coming players.

A springboard for Japan’s national team has been J.League, which marked the 20th anniversary of its inception this year. J.League players have intensely competed for their survival in the glamorous but highly competitive professional league.

An increasing number of successful J.League players have opted to play for teams overseas, which has helped them develop their agility, techniques and other qualities in demanding environments. Such a trend has surely raised Japan’s level of soccer.

Players belonging to foreign clubs have become a majority on the national team. Among them, Keisuke Honda, Makoto Hasebe and Yuto Nagatomo–who spearheaded the team’s advance to the Round of 16 of the last World Cup–now lead the team.

Honda, who slotted the penalty kick that leveled the score against Australia on Tuesday night, displayed outstanding mental strength. Shinji Kagawa, who was not selected for the national team in the last World Cup, has developed into a core member.

Fancy footsteps to follow in

Nadeshiko Japan, the women’s national soccer team, became World Cup champions two years ago. The achievement, which stirred up the entire nation, must have served as an impetus for the men’s squad.

Japan’s defense and organizational skills proved to be sufficient in the last World Cup. The challenge for now is scoring. We hope the Japanese side will be strong enough to miss no scoring opportunities.

If each player does what is required of him, it is not unthinkable that Japan could reach the quarterfinals for the first time in the World Cup next year.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 5, 2013)
(2013年6月5日01時26分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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