Football (Japan) Lost In Translation . . . Relaunched 2012!
Japan Football: Zaccheroni, Samurai Blue, and general J chatter
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A little moment to relax and unwind....
For the Japan supporters who were able to book a ride home with the National Team on their chartered flight, a neat little surprise awaited.

First, an appearance by Alberto Zaccheroni and captain Makoto Hasebe with words of thanks to the supporters who flew Down Under to show their support.

Then the entire squad filed into the aisles to show their appreciation. It was the eve of Keisuke Honda's 26th Birthday, and the fans serenaded him with a chorus of the Happy Birthday song.

Back in their section of the plane, the squad on a whim decided to open a bottle of bubbly and celebrate the Birthday boy.

They arrived in Japan safely.

Following their arrival home, Kazu Miura asked Hasebe to help organize a get-together with the overseas players. Those who were able to make it: Hasebe, Kawashima, Nagatomo, Miyaichi, Kagawa, Hosogai, Morimoto, Yoshida, and Uchida.

june14KazuDinner.jpg Click on photo for full album.

The next couple months are still going to be full of activity, as many members will have to deal with possible transfer deals, and some are already set to join new clubs. Leverkusen has taken Hosogai back from Augsburg for this upcoming season, and it will be a critical season in his footballing career. Kawashima is looking to find a new home in Italy or England, but openings for goalies, and in particular non-native goalies are quite rare. Of course, Kagawa's imminent move to Manchester United will keep media in both countries busy through the summer. And there is some rumor that Morimoto is desperate to find a new club, including possible choices in the J-league.

The Olympics squad's provisional list of 35 was announced this week -- notable were the inclusion of Miyaichi and Kiyotake, the exclusion of Kagawa, and the possible use of Yoshida in the OverAge category. Yoshida, who injured his knee during the Jordan game, vowed to be healed and ready if or when he is called.

The next scheduled game for Samurai Blue is a friendly against Venezuela in Sapporo, August 15.

The Olympics squad will have a pre-London warm-up game against New Zealand on July 11 in Tokyo.
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