picture of the day

On the bench


AC Milan forward Keisuke Honda, of Japan, left, jokes with his teammate AC Milan defender Cristian Zapata, of Colombia, as they sit on the bench during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Inter Milan, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, on Sunday.

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Are there any Japanese players that are actually starters and/or get a decent amount of playing time in Europe?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Shinji Okazaki of Mainz, Hiroshi Kiyotake of Nurnberg, Gotoku Sakai of Stuttgart, Hiroshi Sakai of Hannover 96, and before they were injured, Makoto Hasebe of Nurnberg and Schalke 04's Atsuto Uchida. They are all regular starters for their respective clubs this season.

Okazaki is Japan's best goalscorers with 14 goals in Buli.1

0 ( +2 / -2 )

All japanese players who went to PL didn't make it as a regular player. Now Honda, by chasing his dream he ended up on the bench. Japanese Players needs to become more realistic about their abilities. Uchida only plays regular at Schalke because no competition from another player for his position. He is widely critizised by the supporters. All other Bundesliga players play at low ranked teams.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

International camaraderie is always a welcome sight. Right ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )


"Uchida only plays regular at Schalke because no competition from another player for his position."

Surely that's true of every footballer who's ever lived? ; )

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@lucabrasi if you could understand German and would be able to read the Schalke supporter comments you would know that they are not happy with him. The team will add a new player next season and Uchida will have more time to exchange messages with Honda during game time.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A position Honda is finally suited for!

-3 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan's starting eleven should be as fit and fresh as any in the World Cup. The J-League season is just a few months old and some of their top European-based players have spent a large part of the season on the bench.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )


"... fit and fresh," or short of match-practice?

Works both ways, unfortunately.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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