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Japan must harness their samurai spirit to find a way past Croatia according to Yuto Nagatomo

Japan must harness its samurai spirit to get past Croatia, insists veteran defender Yuto Nagatomo as he calls on his teammates to ‘fight’ in their last-16 World Cup clash

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Japan has already won two battles at this World Cup. Unexpected comeback wins against Germany and Spain put them at the top of the group of death, but a bigger fight lies ahead.

To do what they’ve never done before and reach the quarterfinals, they must embody the spirit of medieval warriors. That was the message from veteran star Yuto Nagatomo at Sunday’s press conference.

Nagatomo is playing in his fourth consecutive World Cup and was part of the team that Belgium defeated in the last 16 in Russia four years ago.

Japan Veteran Defender Yuto Nagatomo Has Summoned His Teammates To Harness The Spirit Of The Samurai

Japan veteran defender Yuto Nagatomo has summoned his teammates to harness the spirit of the samurai

Japan Qualified For The Last 16 Of The World Cup After Beating Spain And Germany To Top Their Group

Japan Qualified For The Last 16 Of The World Cup After Beating Spain And Germany To Top Their Group

Japan qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup after beating Spain and Germany to top their group

The defender used the samurai analogy to explain how they plan to go the extra mile and make history.

‘In Japan, the samurai is very famous. We would like to fight like samurai,” said Nagatomo, 36.

“Before they polish their guns, they try to improve their techniques. If they are frightened during battle, they will not be able to fully use their weapons and techniques. It is exactly the same with football. Of course there are tactics and technique that are important.

“But no matter how much we’ve improved those things, if we’re afraid when we’re ahead of the game, those things are useless. We have to have guts to make the most of all the tactics we’ve discussed and practiced over the past four years.’

The Japanese Players Will Have To Put On A Samurai Show To Beat Croatia On Monday

The Japanese Players Will Have To Put On A Samurai Show To Beat Croatia On Monday

The Japanese players will have to put on a samurai show to beat Croatia on Monday

Japan Showed Their Quality By Making A Stunning Comeback Against The Spaniards

Japan Showed Their Quality By Making A Stunning Comeback Against The Spaniards

Japan showed their quality by making a stunning comeback against the Spaniards

Japan’s wins over Germany and Spain were almost identical in that they trailed 1–0 at half-time before scoring two quick goals in the second half through their intense pressure.

In the game against Spain, they only had 17.7 percent possession, but that didn’t matter. They had more spunk, more passion.

“For the first game against Germany, there is a word in Italian: corragio, which means courage,” said Nagatomo.

So I shook hands with each of the players and we both shouted “corragio!” together. I think all players are showing this courageous game.’

But with their group stage battles over, the war of knockouts has only just begun for the plucky samurai in blue.

Nagatomo (Left) Believes Japan Can Find A Way To The Quarter-Finals Of The World Cup In Qatar

Nagatomo (Left) Believes Japan Can Find A Way To The Quarter-Finals Of The World Cup In Qatar

Nagatomo (left) believes Japan can find a way to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar

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Merry

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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