The Press Round-up

The 2012 Kirin Challenge Cup fixture with Azerbaijan was the final chance for Samurai Blue manager Alberto Zaccheroni to run the rule over his players before selecting his squad for the three upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification matches. The national team eased to a 2-0 victory courtesy of goals from Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki either side of half-time. Kagawa, the subject of intense press speculation in recent weeks after confirming he would not be renewing his contract with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund, broke legendary Japan striker Kunishige Kamamoto’s longstanding record to become the youngest player to reach ten goals for his country.

The morning after the match the Italian named the players who will join him for the matches against Oman, Jordan and Australia, and despite increasing the overall headcount from 23 to 25, there is no place for FC Tokyo’s Yuhei Tokunaga and Aria Hasegawa or Urawa Reds’ Genki Haraguchi, while defenders Yasuyuki Konno and Maya Yoshida, midfielders Hiroshi Kiyotake and Yasuhito Endo, and striker Mike Havnenaar all make the cut. The full squad details are as follows:

Position Name Club
GK Eiji Kawashima Lierse S.K.
GK Shusaku Nishikawa Sanfrecce Hiroshima
GK Shuichi Gonda FC Tokyo
DF Yuichi Komano Jubilo Iwata
DF Yasuyuki Konno Gamba Osaka
DF Yuzo Kurihara Yokohama F-Marinos
DF Masahiko Inoha Vissel Kobe
DF Yuto Nagatomo Internazionale
DF Tomoaki Makino 1. FC Köln
DF Atsuto Uchida Schalke 04
DF Maya Yoshida VVV-Venlo
DF Hiroki Sakai Kashiwa Reysol
MF Yasuhito Endo Gamba Osaka
MF Kengo Nakamura Kawasaki Frontale
MF Makoto Hasebe VfL Wolfsburg
MF Hajime Hosogai FC Augsburg
MF Keisuke Honda CSKA Moscow
MF Hideto Takahashi FC Tokyo
FW Ryoichi Maeda Jubilo Iwata
FW Shinji Okazaki VfB Stuttgart
FW Mike Havenaar Vitesse Arnhem
FW Takayuki Morimoto Novara
FW Shinji Kagawa Borussia Dortmund
FW Hiroshi Kiyotake Cerezo Osaka
FW Ryo Miyaichi Arsenal

The Asahi Shimbun has a piece on the ongoing financial troubles at J.League Division 2 outfit FC Gifu, currently sat rock bottom of the professional ranks. Having previously been unable to repay a ¥50 million loan by a 2009 deadline, the club’s position has become so perilous as to have spurred a meeting attended by the prefectural government, including the chambers of commerce and tourism organisation, together with a number of private sector bodies to try to ensure its survival. The situation is so far without resolution.

In the final story of the day, the Sankei Shimbun takes its lead from German football magazine Kicker, stating that Samurai Blue defender Atsuto Uchida has entered negotiations to extend his contract with Bundesliga side Schalke 04. Horst Heldt, the General Manager at Die Königsblauen has described the 24-year old right-back as being extremely professional towards the club and having a wonderful mentality.

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