Nagatomo calls for Japan unity at World Cup

Yuto Nagatomo has called for Japan to show unity as they bid to make an impression at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Japan have been drawn in Group C in Brazil and have a decent chance of progressing from a pool that is expected to be one of most competitive in the tournament.

Alberto Zaccheroni's men start their campaign against Ivory Coast in Recife before then taking on Greece and Colombia.

None of the teams in Group C have progressed beyond the last 16 of a World Cup, and Japan will face a tough test should they qualify for the knockout stages, with Italy, England or Uruguay their likely opponents.

And, ahead of Sunday's friendly with Group D outsiders Costa Rica, Inter defender Nagatomo has stated his belief that team spirit will be vital to Japan's chances of a strong performance.

"Heading to the World Cup, my target is to be 100 per cent fit and (have) high-level combinations with my team mates," Nagatomo said.

"The most important thing is to be united as a team. I want to be sure of those things."

Japan's chances of winning the World Cup are widely considered to be slim, but Nagatomo is dreaming of helping Zaccheroni's men spring a surprise.

"Since the 2010 World Cup finished, I've been conscious of the (2014) World Cup all the time, not only in training but also in my life," Nagatomo added.

"So I have a strong feeling that I want to win the World Cup."


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