Confirmed Japan World Cup squad: United star Kagawa included


Japan have named their 23-man squad that will travel to Brazil for the World Cup this summer - including Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa.

Japan cruised through the Asian qualifying stages, finishing the fourth round group stage with five wins, two draws and just one defeat from eight games, scoring 16 and conceding only five goals in the process. Despite this, little is expected of Alberto Zaccheroni's side, especially in such a tough group.

Group C sees them matched up with Ivory Coast, Greece and Colombia, which is a tough proposition for Japan, who named their squad to take to Brazil today.

The notable names are in there; Manchester United's Kagawa and AC Milan midfielder Keisuke Honda, whilst other familiar faces such as Southampton's Maya Yoshida, Inter Milan's Yuto Nagatomo, Nuremberg midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake and Arsenal target Yoichiro Kakitani are also in the 23-man squad.

Japan's hopes will rest on the shoulders of Kagawa and Honda, two creative midfield players who will need to create plenty of chances if Zaccheroni's men are to progress even out of the group stage.

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege), Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Red Diamonds), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)

Defenders: Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo Iwata), Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan), Masato Morishige (FC Tokyo), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover), Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart)

Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Makoto Hasebe (Nuremberg), Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nuremberg), Keisuke Honda (AC Milan), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United)

Forwards: Yoshito Okubo (Kawasaki Frontale), Shinji Okazaki (Mainz), Yoichiro Kakitani (Cerezo Osaka), Manabu Saito (Yokohama F Marinos), Yuya Osako (1860 Munich)

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch