Honda confident Japan can win the World Cup

Japan star Keisuke Honda is adamant his team can cause an upset by winning the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Alberto Zaccheroni's Japan are tipped to make a splash at the showpiece event after being drawn against Colombia, Greece and Ivory Coast in Group C.

Former England international Michael Owen believes the Asian champions could reach the quarter-finals at the World Cup but Honda has set his sights higher.

"I have kept saying about the aim to win the World Cup and it does not matter how other people think about it," the Milan attacker told reporters ahead of Japan's final warm-up match against Zambia on Friday.

"I could not be happier as a football player if there are more people to expect us to win it than before, as a result of having said that.

"I will never give up and persist in my belief."

The 27-year-old scored twice at the World Cup finals in South Africa and guided the Asian giants to the 2011 Asian Cup, though he has not scored in his past three international appearances.

Honda also managed to score just one goal in 17 Serie A appearances for Milan following his switch from CSKA Moscow in January but he is hopeful of putting on a good show against Zambia in Florida.

"The game will be about how much we can replicate the actual first game against Ivory Coast," he said.

"Of course it is different to the actual first game, but I want to make sure of adjusting in details and we want it to be convincing one for us."

Zaccheroni called for an improvement in concentration after the 3-1 win over Costa Rica, with the team struggling in the attacking third.

His side will get one last opportunity to get things right before flying out to Brazil and defender Yuto Nagatomo is determined to make the most of it.

"It is the last match before World Cup and we will make sure about the combination and being one solid team," said the Inter player.

"I'll do my best to make the game as great one so that we can have the first game in World Cup confidently."

Japan kick-off their World Cup campaign against Ivory Coast on June 14.


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