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Japan national football team

Japan national football team
National Football Team
NameJapan
Nicknameサムライ・ブルー
(Samurai Blue)
ザック・ジャパン
(Zac Japan)
Association日本サッカー協会
(Japan Football Association)
Sub confederationEAFF (East Asia)
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Head coachAlberto Zaccheroni
CaptainMakoto Hasebe
Most capsMasami Ihara (122)
Top scorerKunishige Kamamoto
Kazuyoshi Miura (55)
FIFA codeJPN
FIFA ranking15
Highest FIFA ranking9 (February 1998)
Lowest FIFA ranking66 (December 1992)
Elo ranking15
Highest Elo ranking8 (August 2001, March 2002)
Lowest Elo ranking112 (September 1962)
World Cup Statistics
First internationalJapan 0 5 Republic of China
(Tokyo, Japan; 9 May 1917)
Biggest winJapan 15 0 Philippines
(Tokyo, Japan; 27 September 1967)
Biggest defeatJapan 2 15 Philippines
(Tokyo, Japan; 10 May 1917)
Appearances4
First World Cup1998
Best resultRound 2, 2002, 2010
Regional cup statistics
Asian Cup
Appearances7
First apps.1988
Best resultChampions, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2011
Copa América
Appearances1
First apps.1999
Best resultRound 1, 1999
Confederations Cup Statistics
Appearances4
First apps.1995
Best resultRunners-Up, 2001

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The Japan national football team ( , ) represents Japan in association football and is controlled by the Japan Football Association, the governing body for association football in Japan. Their head coach is Alberto Zaccheroni.

Japan is one of the most successful teams in Asia having qualified for the last four consecutive FIFA World Cup finals with second round advancements in 2002 & 2010 and having won the AFC Asian Cup a record four times with championships in 1992, 2000, 2004 & 2011. To this they add a FIFA Confederations Cup second place in 2001.

The Japanese team is commonly known by the fans and media as

|},

|}, or

|} as abbreviated expressions. Although the team does not have an official nickname as such, it is often known by the name of the manager. For example, under Takeshi Okada, the team was known as

|}. Recently the team has been known or nicknamed as the "Samurai Blue", while news media still refer it to by manager's last name, as

|}, or

|} in short. They are also the reigning Unofficial Football World Champions.


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