Kubo and Shibasaki among players reporting to camp for SAMURAI BLUE
14 November 2022
On Sunday 13 November, the first batch of players playing abroad reported to training camp for the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team), who are training ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
KUBO Takefusa (Real Sociedad), SHIBASAKI Gaku (CD Leganes), TOMIYASU Takehiro (Arsenal), and TANAKA Ao (Fortuna Dusseldorf) appeared in the evening training session held at the team’s base camp in Doha.
Tanaka and Tomiyasu, both of whom are still dealing with injuries, went through separate menus. Tanaka was seen walking and jogging on the two fields, while Kubo joined the squad midway through the session. Tomiyasu watched his teammates train while pedalling an exercise bike at pitch side and did some careful stretching. Shibasaki completed the full menu with the team.
After going through their warmup routine, the team conducted passing and possession drills before playing three on three with goalkeeper GONDA Shuichi (Shimizu S-Pulse) and assistant coach SAITO Toshihide positioned at both ends of the field. The team also worked on their shooting, as they focused on targeting their striker to set up their shots from behind.
Veteran defender NAGATOMO Yuto (FC Tokyo) continued to show great enthusiasm, as he actively gave words of encouragement to his teammates throughout the session. SAKAI Hiroki (Urawa Red Diamonds), who only participated in a portion of the session the day before, displayed excellent mobility as he took part in the full session.
Following the team session, players were given time to work on their own, as TANIGUCHI Shogo (Kawasaki Frontale), Nagatomo, Sakai, and Shibasaki were seeing jogging the filed, while SOMA Yuki (Nagoya Grampus) and MACHINO Shuto (Shonan Bellmare) worked on their shots. YAMANE Miki (Kawasaki Frontale) was also seen sprinting long distance to work up a sweat.
Kubo had injured his shoulder before joining the team and there were concerns about the impact of the injury, but after his first training session in Doha, he appeared to be in good spirits, as he mentioned, “I think I'm in good shape. I've had a chance to play some games, so I think I'm ready to go.”
Tomiyasu also stressed that there was no problem with his foot. He also expressed his desire to maintain his composure as they enter the tournament, “It is the moment we had been waiting for, but I just want to approach it as I always do with my club and play with confidence.”
More players will begin reporting to camp on 14 November and beyond as European clubs finish their weekend matches, but it has been decided that MITOMA Kaoru (Brighton & Hove Albion FC) will delay his departure due to illness and will join the team as soon as he recovers.
The team will continue to train in Doha before playing their final friendly match against Canada at Dubai (UAE) on 17 November.
FP #11 KUBO Takefusa (Real Sociedad/Spain)
I'm able to compete now, so I'm hoping that this time will allow me to reach my peak performance. The injury was to my shoulder, so I was relatively optimistic that I could play through the pain. The change in environment has brought positive changes in me, and I strongly believe that Real Sociedad has made me a better player, so I am grateful to have such great coach and teammates. I think I’ve got a good feel for how to play against better opponents, so I hope to be able to impart that to the national team. This season, I've been in good form, so I hope to bring that to the team and help them create opportunities. I also want to concentrate on how we finish off games and how to take advantage of our opportunities.
FP #16 TOMIYASU Takehiro (Arsenal/England)
It is the moment we had been waiting for, but I just want to approach it as I always do with my club and play with confidence. At Arsenal they demand a very high standard in training, and there are no easy games in the Premier League, so I think that kind of environment has helped me develop as a player. We are at the top of the league table right now, so I am just focused on getting my job done. Not only myself but there are many other players who are playing at a high level, including the Champions League, so I don't think this team is inferior to the past teams, so we just need to be well prepared for the tournament. The national team has its own playing style, and I believe the most important thing is to believe in whatever we do.
FP #17 TANAKA Ao (Fortuna Dusseldorf/Germany)
My injury is no longer a problem. I had been running and training with my club for a while. The club and I had talked it over and just didn’t want to take the risk during the condensed schedule. From the moment I got injured I knew that I would be able to recover in time, so I didn’t feel rushed at all. Since I haven't played football in a while, there is a sense of happiness in being back, and I also feel like I can see more and be more relaxed on the pitch now. Personally, I am just focused on getting my job done. It would be great if I get to play on the pitch, but the team's success comes first, so I will give my all in whatever role is assigned to me. I'll do everything in my power to get ready so that when the chance to play arises, I can give it my all. At the World Cup stage, it is undoubtedly difficult to remain composed, but I will concentrate on getting in the best shape I can for the tournament.
International Friendly Match
Date: Thu. 17 November 2022, 17:40 (22:40 Japan time)
Fixture: SAMURAI BLUE vs Canada National Team
Venue: Al-Maktoum Stadium (United Arab Emirates)
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™
Tournament Dates: Sun. 20 November - Sun. 18 December 2022
1st Match: Wed. 23 November 16:00 [Local Time] vs Germany National Team
2nd Match: Sun. 27 November 13:00 [Local Time] vs Costa Rica National Team
3rd Match: Thu. 1 December 22:00 [Local Time] vs Spain National Team
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