LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa is among the 23-man squad announced by Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil next month.
Kagawa has had another frustrating second season with Manchester United, but the midfield playmaker has always shine in the national setup, where he is one of the standout players, so there was never a doubt over his selection.
“Shinji is an impact player for Japan,” said Zaccheroni. “He always does the job asked.”
Also being named in the World Cup squad is AC Milan forward Keisuke Honda.
“Honda, we know, has the character and power to grab the team by the scruff of the neck,” added Zaccheroni. “We hope he can do the same again.”
Inter Milan defender Yuto Nagatomo and striker Shinji Okazaki of Mainz are also standout members in the team.
Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege/BEL), Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Reds), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)
Defenders: Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo Iwata), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan/ITA), Masato Morishige (FC Tokyo), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke/GER), Maya Yoshida (Southampton/ENG), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover 96/GER), Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart/GER)
Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Makoto Hasebe (Nuremberg/GER), Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Keisuke Honda (AC Milan/ITA), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United/ENG)
Forwards: Yoshito Okubo (Kawasaki Frontale), Shinji Okazaki (Mainz/GER), Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nurnberg/GER), Yoichiro Kakitani (Cerezo Osaka), Manabu Saito (Yokohama F-Marinos), Yuya Osako (1860 Munich/GER)