Faces of Soccer: Japan – a letter to the nationwide crew

Faces of Football: Japan - a letter to the national team

Expensive Japanese nationwide crew, 

Hiya, my identify is Yoshibumi Kagawa. I used to be born in Barcelona, Spain and I lived in Spain, England, the Netherlands, and Germany till I used to be 15 years previous. I returned to Japan in 1994 and have been an enormous fan of the nationwide crew ever since. 

The primary sport I actually keep in mind watching was when Japan confronted off in opposition to the mighty Brazil in 1995 on the previous nationwide stadium. My biggest second as a fan would come just some brief years later after we certified for our first ever FIFA World Cup. Masayuki Okano’s golden objective which earned Japan qualification to France ‘98 introduced me to tears of pleasure. 

I attempted to go to that World Cup in France for the sport in opposition to Argentina – our first within the competitors ever – however because of ticking points I returned house to Japan with out attending to attend. Ever since then I’ve made some extent of going to each World Cup as a way to help my nation. 

The match in Qatar would be the sixth consecutive WC that I’ve been to. On the 2022 World Cup I might be dressed up as our captain Maya Yoshida, armed with a particular banner, his identify and quantity on my again and, after all, a captain’s armband. 

Our street to Qatar definitely hasn’t been a straightforward one, beginning out qualification with two defeats within the first three video games, however we clawed our manner again into competition after that shaky begin. I used to be one of many lucky few to attend the sport in Sydney by which we secured our place on the World Cup – profitable 2-0 thanks to 2 late objectives from Kaoru Mitoma. I used to be much more lucky to then be given a shirt worn by Yoshida after the sport – one thing I’ll treasure for the remainder of my life. 

Doha, for a lot of Japanese supporters, will carry again some dangerous recollections. The ‘Doha no Higeki’ (Tragedy of Doha) was one of many worst moments in our nation’s proud footballing historical past, after we conceded an harm time objective to Iraq and missed out on qualification for the 1994 World Cup. 

Moriyasu-san, you had been one of many gamers on the pitch that day, and it looks like future that you can be main the crew in Doha. We hope you could write constructive historical past this time and create moments worthy of the identify ‘Doha no Kanki’ (Pleasure of Doha).

We’re in a tough group with Spain and Germany, however I imagine we are able to trigger an upset and do one thing nice this 12 months. 

Sa- Ike Nippon! 

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