Japan’s Samurai Blue to face Brazil in friendly before World Cup

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Asian football heavyweight Japan will test its caliber against record World champion Brazil ahead of the Qatar World Cup in a friendly in Tokyo on June 6, the Japan Football Association confirmed Wednesday.

“We are very pleased to be playing Brazil, the No. 1 ranked team, at this time as we begin our preparations for the World Cup,” Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu said in a statement.

“We want to build a side that competes with the teams at the top of the FIFA rankings from their perspective and without looking up too much, but also while respecting them. I want to show this attitude in this match.”

Brazil has won the World Cup five times, most recently in 2002.

It is the favorite to take the trophy this year, having breezed through the qualifying campaign unbeaten and set a new record for points in the single South American group.

The match at Tokyo’s National Stadium is one of four warm-up games in the diary for the Japan side, nicknamed Samurai Blue.

It will face Paraguay in the northern city of Sapporo on June 2, and then play as-yet-unannounced opponents on June 10 in Kobe and June 14 in Osaka.

The 2022 World Cup begins on Nov. 21.

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