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World Cup views from Tokyo: Portugal and Japan

by Mark Buckton

Ivo Crisostomo
Financial consultant, 31
(Portuguese)

Who is Portugal’s man to watch?

The current Portuguese man to watch is Cristiano Ronaldo. He is the FIFA World Player of the Year, and together with Lionel Messi (of Argentina) he is by far the best player in the world.

How far do you expect Portugal and Japan to get?

For Portugal, if we start well against Germany, I think we can go all the way through to the final — finally. (Portugal has never reached the World Cup final.)

For Japan, I think they will go to the round of 16 past the group stage.

Which game are you most looking forward to?

The first game of Portugal, Portugal against Germany, and also Spain against the Netherlands.

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

I think the favorite teams are Spain, Brazil as hosts, and Germany. The dark horse might be Portugal or even Uruguay.


Takako Ikegami
Apparel company, 30
(Japanese)

Who is Japan’s man to watch?

I’m actually a big fan of the captain of Japan’s national team, Makoto Hasebe, but I recommend Yoshito Okubo. He is a forward player because he got the most points (goals) for a J. League team last year, so his condition is quite good, so I believe he will get a lot of points in any game.

How far do you expect Japan to get?

I hope they go to the final, but my “second hope” is that they get to the semi-final at least, because we went to the best 16 last time in South Africa.

Which game are you most looking forward to?

Of course, the Japan national team’s game — every Japan national team game — I will watch all the games. And the other game I want to see is the final. It’s probably Brazil who’s going to the final.

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

I think Brazil is going to win because, this time, Brazil is the host country so they have a big advantage. And the dark horse is, of course, Japan, because I believe they are very strong.

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