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 You are in:  Lineker's Verdict
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Lineker's Verdict

Japan Team Kit

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

Japan star player, Junichi Inamoto
World Cup record:
 1998   First round
 2002   Second round

Did you know?
Parma star Hidetoshi Nakata is so popular in his home country and among Japan fans around the world that his official website recorded more than a million hits on the first day of its launch.

Team Flag
Coach:
Star player:

Philippe Troussier
Junichi Inamoto
My old stomping ground certainly proved to be the ideal place to stage the World Cup finals - and the team weren't bad either.

I thought they may buckle under the burden of expectation, but right from the first whistle they played with a vim and vigour that hosts often have - none more so than Junichi Inamoto.

Hidetoshi Nakata was supposed to be the player to keep an eye on, but Inamoto stole his thunder - he was a revelation.

I'm sure some of those French stars from North London wish they had joined him on the Highbury bench for the season if that's what it does for your form!

Japan upstaged both Belgium and Russia and after those efforts it was a shame they went out at the next hurdle to Turkey.

And while the players performed creditably on the pitch, the fans stole all the prizes off it with their colour, passion and warm welcome for visitors.

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2002 World Cup results

Group H: v Belgium 2-2; v Russia 1-0; v Tunisia 2-0; Second round: v Turkey 0-1.



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