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World Cup 2014 views from Tokyo: Croatia and Japan

by Mark Buckton

Special To The Japan Times

Motockney Nuquee
Translator, blues singer and stuff like that, 33
(Japanese)

Who is Japan’s man to watch?

It’s got to be Yuto Nagatomo, because, well, I thought he must be the first human clone or something like that, because he seems to be everywhere on the pitch, whenever they switch the camera.

How far in the tournament do you expect Japan to get?

Hopefully as far as the best eight.

Which game are you most looking forward to?

Any game that Japan gets to play against any country — (but especially if they get to play) against England, because I used to live in London.

Who do you expect to win, and which dark horses could upset their plans?

It must be some country in South America that’s gonna win the cup. Dark horse? Japan — let’s say Japan.


Antun Percic
Actor, acting coach and teacher, 50s
(Croatian and English)

Who is Croatia’s man to watch?

I think it’d have to be Luka Modric, who plays for Real Madrid and is probably one of the best midfielders in the world at the moment — he’s the real guy to watch.

How far do you expect Croatia and Japan to get?

I think the group that Croatia are in is not a bad group, but they have Brazil. The first game that they play is against Brazil, but there’s also Cameroon and Mexico, so I think they’ve got a good chance of qualifying.

As for Japan, if I remember rightly, they’ve got a pretty tough group, so I think maybe they’re gonna struggle a little to qualify.

Which game are you most looking forward to?

Well, the opening one will be between Brazil and Croatia, and of course, that’s the big game for Croatia, but the problem is it’s in Brazil, so it may be a little difficult for them to get over that one.

Who do you expect to win, and which dark horses could upset their plans?

Well, I think it will either be Brazil, Spain and maybe Argentina. The dark horse? Croatia.

Download a FIFA World Cup group-stage wall chart in PDF form, packed with opinions culled from these interviews and facts about the tournament.

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