Football (Japan) Lost In Translation . . . Relaunched 2012!
Japan Football: Zaccheroni, Samurai Blue, and general J chatter
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In the mood...

20 of the 23-man Zico Japan rendez-vous-ed at Fukushima's football/footsal complex "J Village" >>click to see the facilities today. If you click on the map once, you can initiate the activex control, and then the corresponding photo will appear on the right to what you are pointing. The football grounds are #1-5, the artificial turf is #6. The stadium is the red-lined oval on the right of the map. The team will be training here until the 26th.

Takahara, who just got in from Germany, and other players like Oguro and Koji Nakata will not be joining the group until tomorrow (Thursday), to gain an extra day of rest as their club duties ended a little later than the others.

Zico has insisted he will not announce or take the alternates with him. Instead, should the need arise to replace an injured player during the preWC period, he will make an additional call-up. He said that all the players who believe themselves in the running should keep up their condition and mental focus, because any one of them may be given a sudden call up.

However, it was recently discovered that Takayuki Suzuki has returned to Japan after getting the notification that he made be called up as an alternate.

Primeminister_Zico_Miyamoto.jpgZico and Miyamoto met with Prime Minister Koizumi yesterday. Tuesday was the last day the team was free to do tv appearances, etc. The team were invited to meet with the Emperor and the Emperess of Japan, and Nakamura was quoted as saying he was tremendously suprised and honored to hear they knew of his career.

yuji_blackeye.jpgYuji Nakazawa looking shady -- an elbow to the eye during the Scotland Kirin Cup game last week took Yuji out of the game needing a stitch to stop the bleeding. Luckily it was not a serious injury (seriously, I think I almost had a heart attack when he fell to the ground), but the right eye is puffed up and closed -- hence, the glasses.

samuraibluebus.jpgGetting into the spirit of things, a little "Go Japan" from the folks at the Tokyo transportation bureau.

hide_tsune_jvillage.jpgHide and Tsune (Miyamoto) arrive at the J Village, here pictured seated in the team bus.

jvillage_Maki.jpgThe new kid on the block, Maki, getting lots of media attention these days. He will be saying hello for the first time to his Europe-based senpai. He commented yesterday that Shunsuke Nakamura is still in his mind "this famous person I watch on tv." Kinda crazy, I know, but I think the midfield will like him as a forward.
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