U-20 Japan National Team in full swing ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023™
14 May 2023
On Saturday 13 May, the U-20 Japan National Team began training at full-strength ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023™.The team departed from Japan on Thursday 11 May and met up with players playing for clubs in Europe before arriving in Buenos Aires after travelling for about 30 hours. The team conducted a light training session in the afternoon after checking into their accommodations to loosen their bodies.
The team started full training on Saturday, their second day in Argentina, with sessions in the morning and the afternoon. They worked on passing and ball control in the morning before going through their set-pieces and engaging in an eleven-a-side scrimmage in the afternoon. The temperature was around 20 degrees Celsius, making it a perfect day for football, as the players took part in a pair of short, but intense training sessions.
The time difference between Argentina and Japan is 12 hours. The team will concentrate on tactical, mental, and physical preparation over the course of the final nine days before the tournament begins. Although the host nation changed from Indonesia to Argentina just before the tournament, where the climate and time difference are completely different, the team is preparing to the best of its ability with the cooperation of the Argentine Football Association, the local people, and the teams to which the players belong, under the slogan “unwavering team.”
On this day, FUKUI Taichi (FC Bayern Munich) commented, “the environment is well-organised, and we are not worried about the pitch conditions neither.”
The tournament kicks off on Saturday 20 May and Japan will play their first match against the U-20 Senegal National Team on Sunday. The team is scheduled to play its final training match before the tournament against Argentina on 15 May.
GK #1 KIMURA Ryoya (Nihon University)
I was tired from the long travel and my body didn't move as much as I would have liked, but the team atmosphere was good, and I am confident that we can achieve good results if we can make the most of the time we have left before the tournament. We are determined to do better this time after the disappointment at the AFC U20 Asian Cup. In the lead-up to the World Cup, I had been working to strengthen my goalkeeping against set-pieces, an area where I struggled in the Asian Cup. We need to improve how we start the match and try to raise the intensity level at the individual level. Our top priority is to win with a clean sheet. I want to take on the leadership role and contribute to the team by staying vocal.
DF #16 TAKAHASHI Niko (FC Barcelona/Spain)
I am very happy to represent Japan in the FIFA U-20 World Cup™. I have been training every day in the hope of winning the world title. The U-20 Japan National Team is comprised of players who are all capable of giving their all for the team. I want to concentrate on making lots of overlapping runs to help our offence while also showcasing my defensive prowess. I can't wait for the tournament to start.
MF #6 FUKUI Taichi (FC Bayern Munich/Germany)
I had a good idea of how the team would be like, so I didn’t have any issues joining them. I was really rooting for them at the AFC U20 Asian Cup, too. I'm honestly happy to be a part of this team because I've been working hard all year for this tournament, and I am determined to do my best to help Japan win. The Japan National Team is not only capable of fighting tenaciously as a team, but also of showing many different colours, as I strongly believe that our individual skills are on par with those of players from around the world. I want to stay involved with the ball, score goals, and contribute to the team's victories. I will focus on how well I can link up with the players around me in the week leading up to the tournament.
FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023™
Tournament dates: Sat. 20 May - Sun. 11 June 2023
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