Japan World Cup 2022: Players, fixtures, group

업데이트: 2023/02/06

How far can the Samurai Blue go in Qatar?

30일 환불 보장

Japan entered the 2022 World Cup hoping to make a splash in Group E, and Hajime Moriyasu’s squad more than lived up to such a goal. The Samurai Blue won two matches outright, including a 2-1 victory over Germany on November 23, and never allowed more than one goal in a single game. Not only is Japan now in the Round of 16 for the fourth time since 2002, but they’re only one win away from their first-ever quarterfinals appearance!

Round of 16: Japan vs. Croatia

MatchDateTime (ET)Stadium
Japan vs. CroatiaDecember 5, 202210 a.m.Al Janoub Stadium

Prediction: Japan vs. Croatia

Japan and Croatia have met in the World Cup before, with the Croats winning in 1998 and 2006. Can Japan exact some overdue revenge and advance to the quarterfinals? Given how inconsistent Croatia’s offense has been throughout the tournament, we believe Japan will pull off the upset and finally reach the quarterfinals!

How to watch the Japan World Cup team for free from anywhere

TerritoryLanguageRights holder(s)Price
BelgiumFrenchRTBF (French)Free
BelgiumDutchVRT (Dutch)Free
United KingdomEnglishITVFree
South KoreaKoreanSBSFree
South KoreaKoreanKBSFree
South KoreaKoreanMBCFree
BrazilPortugueseTV GloboFree
MexicoSpanishTelevisa (vix)Free

Group stage: Japan World Cup fixtures and match schedule

infographic japan world cup 2022 games

DateMatchTime (ET)Stadium
Wed, Nov. 23Germany vs. Japan (Winner: Japan, 2-1)8 a.m.Khalifa International
Sun, Nov. 27Japan vs. Costa Rica (Winner: Costa Rica, 1-0)5 a.m.Ahmad Bin Ali
Thurs, Dec. 1Spain vs. Japan (Winner: Japan, 2-1)2 p.m.Khalifa International

Final 26-man Japan World Cup roster

GoalkeeperEiji KawashimaStrasbourg (FRA)3995
GoalkeeperShuichi GondaShimizu S-Pulse (JPN)3333
GoalkeeperDaniel SchmidtSint-Truiden (BEL)3011
DefenderYuto NagatomoTokyo (JPN)36137
DefenderMaya YoshidaSchalke (GER)12112
DefenderHiroki SakaiUrawa Red Diamonds (JPN)3271
DefenderTakehiro TomiyasuArsenal (ENG)2329
DefenderYuta NakayamaHuddersfield (ENG)2517
DefenderMiki YamaneKawasaki Frontale (JPN)2814
DefenderShogo TaniguchiKawasaki Frontale (JPN)3113
DefenderKo ItakuraBorussia Monchengladbach (GER)2512
DefenderHiroki ItoStuttgart (GER)235
MidfielderGaku ShibasakiLeganes (SPA)3059
MidfielderWataru EndoStuttgart (GER)2943
MidfielderTakumi MinaminoMonaco (FRA)2743
MidfielderJunya ItoReims (FRA)2938
MidfielderRitsu DoanFreiburg (GER)2428
MidfielderDaichi KamadaEintracht Frankfurt (GER)2621
MidfielderTakefusa KuboReal Sociedad (SPA)2119
MidfielderHidemasa MoritaSporting (POR)2717
MidfielderAo TanakaFortuna Dusseldorf (GER)2414
MidfielderKaoru MitomaBrighton (ENG)259
MidfielderYuki SomaNagoya Grampus (JPN)257
ForwardTakuma AsanoBochum (GER)2736
ForwardAyase UedaClub Brugge (BEL)2410
ForwardDaizen MaedaCeltic258

Star players in the Japan World Cup team

One name above all: Wataru Endo, the star of Japan and also of Bundesliga team Stuttgart. His midfield tackles and charisma make him one of the top Samurai Blue’s top players—and hugely popular at home and abroad.

Who is Japan’s head coach?

The coach of Japan is Hajime Moriyasu, who has led the team since 2018. He tends to be rather conservative in his tactics but helped Sanfrecce Hiroshima win back-to-back J League titles in 2012 and 2013, and again in 2015. Will his tactics be enough against the mighty Germany and Spain in Group E?

Japan national team strengths & weaknesses

Let’s dive deeper into the strengths and weaknesses of the Samurai Blue!


Even if the team does not really have a strong center forward, Japan can count on its strong midfield, which can transition from defense to attack quickly. This is proved by the way Japan qualified for this competition: 10 out of the 12 goals were scored by midfielders. Japan can also count on charismatic leaders within the team that bring them together on and off the pitch. 


Probably the lack of a strong forward player is the most evident weakness for Japan. Also, this year’s team is composed of veterans and debutants which may requite a little time to gel and find their strongest performances.  

Japan World Cup 2022 odds

According to the bookies, Japan holds a very slim chance of winning the 2022 World Cup at +1400. Here are the latest 2022 FIFA World Cup odds for all major countries:



FAQ: Japan 2022 World Cup squad

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