Skip to main content Text Only version of this page
BBC
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
BBC Sport World Cup 2002

 You are in: Team Pages: Japan  
Front Page
Statistics
Team Pages
Features
Other News
Sports Talk
TV/Radio Coverage
Photo Galleries
Venues Guide
Matches Wallchart
World Cup Greats
History
Quiz

BBC Sport

BBC News

BBC Weather


Click on a name for more detailed team information:

Argentina
Belgium
Brazil
Cameroon
China
Costa Rica
Croatia
Denmark
Ecuador
England
France
Germany
Italy
Japan
Mexico
Nigeria
Paraguay
Poland
Portugal
Rep of Ireland
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Tunisia
Turkey
USA
Uruguay

Tuesday, 2 April, 2002, 22:01 GMT 23:01 UK
Pele: Japan can flourish at home
Japan's footballers celebrate a goal
Japan have improved steadily since France 98
Pele believes Japan are ready to make their mark at this World Cup.

Four years ago they failed to make it beyond the first stage in what was their only previous visit to the finals.

But a favourable draw this time has given them a real chance of making progress.

Open Quote
Japan have better prospects of reaching the second round than Korea
Close Quote
Former Brazil star Pele

Philippe Troussier's side will face Belgium, Russia and Tunisia in Group H and Brazilian legend Pele insists they have nothing to fear.

Their co-hosts South Korea were also seeded but drew Portugal, Poland and USA in Group D.

Pele, who played a part in three World Cup-winning teams, said: "For me, Japan have better prospects of reaching the second round than Korea.

"Belgium and Russia are solid and well-organised but lack the flair you need to make a splash at the World Cup.

"Tunisia may prove to be one of the weakest of the African teams."

At France 98, Japan lost all three games - against France, Croatia and Jamaica.

Japan midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata
Midfielder Nakata is Japan's star player

As co-hosts they did not have to qualify for 2002 but impressed in last year's Confederations Cup, when they reached the final before going down to mighty France.

"Japan are learning all the time," Pele told World Soccer magazine.

"Their coach, Philippe Troussier, has World Cup finals experience with South Africa, and an excellent playmaker in Hidetoshi Nakata."

But Pele warned Japanese fans not to expect miracles from their side when they begin their campaign against Belgium in Saitama on 4 June.

"The Japanese must not think too far ahead and concentrate on reaching the second round," he said.

"After all, even that, for Japan, would be football history."

INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
TOP STORIES FROM
JAPAN
 TEAMS
 JAPAN
Full coverage:
News and
features
Lineker's verdict
Statistics pages
World Cup so far
Have Your Say
 SQUAD PROFILES
 RESULTS/REPORTS

GROUP H
  P GD PTS
JAPAN 3 +3 7
BELGIUM 3 +1 5
RUSSIA 3 0 3
TUNISIA 3 -4 1

 WATCH/LISTEN
 BBC SPORT BULLETINS
 OUR BEST AUDIO
More Audio/Video

 BBC LANGUAGES ONLINE




© BBC ^ Back to top

Front Page | Statistics | Team Pages | Features | Other News | Sports Talk | TV/Radio Coverage | Photo Galleries | Venues Guide | Matches Wallchart | World Cup Greats | History | Quiz

BBC Sport >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
BBC World Service >> | BBC Radio Five Live >>
© MMII | News Sources | Privacy