Japan's football coach: Japan relaxed, ready to roll

Japan's football coach: Japan relaxed, ready to roll
The Japan national team has its first practice as its World Cup base camp on Monday in Itu, Brazil, on a field overlooked by the hotel wing of the Spa Sports Resort

ITU, Brazil -The Japanese players are satisfied with their base camp, and coach Alberto Zaccheroni is content that the team is as ready as it can be. All that's left to do now is start the World Cup campaign.

"Everything has gone smoothly up to now," Zaccheroni said at a press conference Tuesday at the team camp here, expressing confidence as Japan's Group C opener against Cote d'Ivoire approaches.

While there was concern about whether the camp facilities would be completed on time, Zaccheroni said there have been no problems.

"They took into consideration Japanese culture and gave us a camp that best suits us," he said. "From a personal point of view, I like it, and it seems the players like it, too."

Zaccheroni said the team will proceed as usual in its final preparations for Saturday's match in Recife.

"It's not good to be too relaxed, and it's not good to be too excited," he said.

On Monday, the squad had its first training session at the Spa Sports Resort, which it will call home through the duration of its stay in Brazil.

The camp is located about 100 kilometers northwest of Sao Paulo and features easy access by highway to the nearest airport.

As Japan faces three-hour or so flights to all three of its group matches, avoiding the added stress of putting up with traffic is a key point.

The camp encompasses 140,000 square meters and has both indoor and outdoor pools, a weight room and entertainment facilities.

While there was concern about delays in the construction of the hotel wing, it seems to have been completed in time, and each room comes with a bath-a rarity in the country.

"There are a few places that aren't finished, but the rooms are nice," defender Hiroki Sakai said. "I thought it was going to be much worse."

Next to the hotel is the practice ground with two natural-grass fields. "It is soft here and there, but it's not a problem," goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima said.

Round-the-clock security guards man the entrance, and the area is quiet, assuring a relaxed atmosphere.

"It's new and allows us to relax, and the practice ground is very close," said midfielder and captain Makoto Hasebe, adding it is equal to the one in George, South Africa, where Japan stayed during the 2010 World Cup. "They did a good job of giving us a wonderful environment."

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