Football: Japan has potential to win World Cup: Honda

Football: Japan has potential to win World Cup: Honda

Japan playmaker Keisuke Honda believes the 'Blue Samurai' have the potential to pull off a huge upset in Brazil and win the World Cup.

The AC Milan player is central to coach Alberto Zaccheroni's attacking plans and is one of the surviving members of Japan's 2010 World Cup campaign, when they advanced to the knockout stage only for the second time.

"I am very eager to surprise the world so we just (have to) believe in our style and ourselves. We will see at the World Cup," the 27-year-old told Kyodo news agency when asked to reassert his earlier claim that Japan could go all the way.

"At this moment, we just need to progress. I don't want to look back (over the last four years). I think the most important thing is how we spend time over the next two weeks, how we make a good atmosphere," he said.

"We can do that. We have experienced players who can make it (a good atmosphere) and I am one of them so I have to do a lot of things in the next two weeks."

The bleach-blond player also said he would approach the World Cup as if it was his last.

"The World Cup only comes around once every four years and for every player in the squad there is no guarantee that there will be another World Cup. I intend to challenge as though this one is the last for me."

Japan, now training in Florida, face Ivory Coast in their Group C opener on June 14 in Recife before meeting Greece (June 19) and Colombia (June 24).

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