Is Honda crazy to think Japan can win the World Cup?

Japan and AC Milan star Keisuke Honda strongly believes his nation have what it takes to win the World Cup.

The 2014 World Cup is shaping up to be an unpredictable, exciting competition. Many countries are a lot stronger than the 2010 competition whilst the Brazilian climate is set to have a big impact on matters.

For that reason, and obviously due to their strong squads many believe it will be between Brazil and Argentina. However Keisuke Honda of Japan believes that his side can upset the apple cart somewhat and win the prestigious competition.

Japan are in a very open Group C along with Colombia, Ivory Coast and Greece and all four nations will be fancying their chances of progressing through to the knockout stages. They all have players capable of changing the momentum of games and it will certainly be one of the more interesting out of the eight groups.

At the Confederations Cup last summer, also held in Brazil, Japan played some scintillating football, and were hugely entertaining. They pushed Italy all the way in a group game before the Nazzurri managed a 4-3 victory. However the world stood up and certainly noticed Japan have some very talented players in their ranks. Of course Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa stand out but also Shinji Okazaki of Mainz.

Speaking to reporters ahead of their friendly against Zambia on Friday Honda spoke about his ambitions for the tournament.  

"I have kept saying about the aim to win the World Cup and it does not matter how other people think about it.

"I could not be happier as a football player if there are more people to expect us to win it than before, as a result of having said that. I will never give up and persist in my belief."

Japan are a possible second round opposition for England if both teams advance from their groups and although some might think it would be an easy game it would be far from that. Japan are a well organised team, with a strong counter-attack, and their manager Alberto Zaccheroni has previously led them to winning the Asian Cup.

If they can progress out of their tough group, then anything is possible in the knockout stages. Nobody expected Greece to win Euro 2004 but their brand of football nullified the opposition. Maybe there is a reason why Honda is so confident and they could spring a few surprises just as they did in the Confederations Cup.


Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch