Nadeshiko Japan’s momentum is unexpected. Nadeshiko is the Japanese word for lily of the valley. It’s a nickname for the Japanese women’s national football team. It is said to symbolise a strong, upright woman.

The Japanese women’s football team, ranked 11th in the FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association), has been on fire at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. They are in the quarter-finals after defeating Norway (ranked 12th) 3-1 on 5 May. Their quarter-final opponent is Sweden (#3) on the 11th. It won’t be easy, but I think they can win. They are looking for a second world title after winning the 2011 World Cup. Since qualifying, Japan have been hailed as “a pleasure to watch” and “a pleasure to play well-organised football”. In the group stage, they beat Zambia (77th) 5-0, Costa Rica (36th) 2-0 and Spain (6th) 4-0. Four games to the round of 16, 14 goals scored and one conceded. Japan, who were 10th in the pre-tournament predictions, are now the No. 1 team to win the tournament. They received five votes in a poll of US sports media experts, ahead of England (three) and Sweden (two). It’s a testament to their performance at the tournament.

Japanese women’s football has a long history. Since the 1960s and 1970s, Japan has been playing “grassroots football,” with school and corporate women’s teams organising their own local competitions and small leagues. In 1979, the Japan Women’s Football Association was established, and since then, it has held many competitions, including the national championship. The number of female players registered with the association increased from 919 in 1979 to 10,409 in 1989. As the market grew, sponsorships from companies such as Mitsubishi decreased. In 1989, the semi-professional Nadeshiko League was launched, further expanding the scope of the sport. It has different roots from South Korea, which created its women’s football league in 2001.

The economic recession of the 1990s briefly reduced support, but with the economic recovery of the 2000s, Japanese women’s football set specific goals of hosting the Women’s World Cup by 2030 and winning the World Cup by 2015. With an elite programme that sent key players overseas and funded their expenses, they did indeed win the World Cup in 2011. At the time, the best players in each age group in the country were selected and trained to compete in the men’s team as children to improve their skills. The miraculous win sparked another women’s football boom in Japan. The tournament’s top scorers, Hinata Miyazawa (five goals – Mainabi Sendai) and Riko Ueki (Tokyo Verdi), both born in 1999, took up the game in 2011 after watching the Nadeshiko Japan myth.

Japan has played in all nine Women’s World Cups so far. In the early days, group stage exits were the norm, but the 2011 title and 2015 runner-up finishes established them as a world powerhouse. After being knocked out in the round of 16 in 2019, they became desperate and launched the professional WE League in 2021 to create an environment for players to focus on their football. “This professional league has had a big impact on the tournament’s propaganda,” he said.

Nadeshiko Japan’s strength is its organisation. At the helm is head coach Futoshi Ikeda (53). He has coached age-group national teams in the past, so he has a good understanding of each player. He maximises communication by consulting with his players a year in advance of the World Cup, for example by implementing a three-back (final three defenders) tactic. However, he also minimises the factors that can disrupt the “one team” mentality, which is why he dropped veteran Mana Iwabuchi (30), who has scored 37 goals in 90 A matches, ahead of the tournament. “We considered a lot of things, including the team’s current situation, and ran various simulations,” Ikeda said.온라인카지노

The tactical response is also long term. Against Zambia and Costa Rica in the group stage, the team played attacking football with high possession, but against Spain, a team that is considered a powerhouse, the team played on the counterattack. Against Spain, possession was 21 per cent to 68 per cent (11 per cent contested). “Japan is like a club team that has been playing together for a long time,” said one opponent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top