Japan has now announced their 23 man squad that will be travelling to Russia this summer. Akira Nishino the recently appointed manager of the national side named a familiar squad.
The team was named just a day after the Japanise side lost 2-0 to Ghana leaving fans even more worried about any success this summer.
The star names will all be on the plane too with Shinji Kagawa, Keisuke Honda and Shinji Okazaki all included, along with captain Makoto Hasebe, Southampton centre-back Maya Yoshida and Galatasaray left-back Yuto Nagatomo.
The four players who have been cut from the original squad are midfielders Yosuke Ideguchi (Leeds United), Kento Misao (Kashima Antlers) and Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), and Arsenal’s on-loan striker Takuma Asano (VfB Stuttgart II).
The omissions are not too surprising however Yosuke Ideguchi will be disappointed to miss out especially after playing a role in helping the country qualify for Russia. Ideguchi joined Leeds in January so he did not become a forgotten man in football.
He did, however, play the second half of the season with Cultural Leonese in La Liga 2 in Spain.
It will be hoped that despite the poor form the side will somehow sort things out before they play Colombia in Russia on the 19th June. We shall see that with two warm-up games still to come against Switzerland and Paraguay.
Here is the full list of players heading over to Russia;
Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino, Wataru Endo (both Urawa Red Diamonds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Olympique Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji, Naomichi Ueda (both Kashima Antlers)
Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi, Takashi Usami (both Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale)
Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz)