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Thursday, September 30, 2010
Zaccheroni picks squad for Argentina and Korea

Japan's new coach Alberto Zaccheroni has called up nine Europe-based players for the upcoming friendlies against Argentina and South Korea.

Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund, Keisuke Honda of CSKA Moscow and Yuto Nagatomo of Cesena have been included along with Lierse's Eiji Kawashima, Schalke's Atsuto Uchida, Leicester player Yuki Abe, Makoto Hasebe of Wolfsburg, FC Tom Tomsk's Daisuke Matsui and Catania's Takayuki Morimoto.

Domestic players Kengo Nakamura of Kawasaki Frontale and Marcus Tulio Tanaka of Nagoya Grampus also earn places, along with Jubilo Iwata forward Ryoichi Maeda, last season's J.League top scorer from last season, and in-form Mu Kanazaki of Nagoya.

But Yokohama F. Marinos defender Yuji Nakazawa, who has suffered from injury, misses out while Nagoya goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki has retired.

``This is the first Japan squad I have selected,'' said Zaccheroni. ``I have attended as many games as I could in the last month to get to know Japanese players.''

Zaccheroni watched from the stand when Japan played Paraguay and Guatemala at home earlier this month.

``I couldn't get to know them in such a short period of time and decided to choose the basis of my squad this time from those who played last month's matches,'' added the Italian. ``We will have about 10 days to work together and I would like to fully use that period to learn about the players and deepen our communication in order to form the foundation of our national team.''

The squad will get together on October 4 in preparation for the upcoming games. Japan will play Argentina on October 8 in Saitama before taking on South Korea on October 12 at Seoul World Cup Stadium.

Japan squad to face Argentina and South Korea: Eiji Kawashima (Lierse SK), Shusaku Nishikawa (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo), Marcus Tulio Tanaka (Nagoya Grampus), Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata), Yuzo Kurihara (Yokohama F. Marinos), Masahiko Inoha (Kashima Antlers), Yuto Nagatomo (Cesena), Tomoaki Kajino (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke), Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale), Yuki Abe (Leicester), Yasuyuki Konno (FC Tokyo), Makoto Hasebe (VfL Wolfsburg), Takuya Honda (Shimizu S-Pulse), Hajime Hosogai (Urawa Reds), Daisuke Matsui (FC Tom Tomsk), Maeda Ryoichi (Jubilo Iwata), Kunimitsu Sekiguchi (Vegalta Sendai), Shinji Okazaki (Shimizu S-Pulse), Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow), Takayuki Morimoto (Catania), Mu Kanazaki (Nagoya Grampus).

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