Zaccheroni focused on improving team defense

Aug 29, 2013

Zaccheroni focused on improving team defense

by Andrew Mckirdy

National team manager Alberto Zaccheroni has pledged to stick by his embattled defenders, insisting on Thursday he would not swap them for anyone else in the world. Japan takes on friendly opponents Guatemala in Osaka on Sept. 6 and Ghana in Yokohama four days ...

Balotelli's injury delivers blow to Italy's hopes

Jun 26, 2013

Balotelli's injury delivers blow to Italy's hopes

Having seen Confederations Cup semifinal opponent Spain neatly dismantle Nigeria in their final group game on Sunday, the last thing Italy needed was an injury to increasingly influential striker Mario Balotelli. The 22-year-old has been ruled out of the tournament due to a torn ...

Italy edges Japan in thriller

Jun 21, 2013

Italy edges Japan in thriller

Italy booked its place in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup here on Wednesday with a thrilling come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Japan that also sent Brazil into the last four. The Italians looked to be heading for defeat after going 2-0 down to Japan ...

Zaccheroni prepares to lead Japan against native Italy

Jun 19, 2013

Zaccheroni prepares to lead Japan against native Italy

During his three years as Japan manager, Alberto Zaccheroni has generally kept it dry, remaining a cool customer when speaking to the media. But on the eve of Wednesday’s Confederations Cup match against his native Italy, the normally reserved Zaccheroni admitted to being overwhelmed ...

Italy beats Mexico, eyes Japan clash

Jun 18, 2013

Italy beats Mexico, eyes Japan clash

Italy delivered a classy performance to beat Mexico behind goals from Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli in its Confederations Cup debut on Sunday. But manager Cesare Prandelli has no plans to bask in the victory at the Maracana, with a tricky proposition in Japan ...

Japan eying Brazil upset in Confederations Cup opener

Jun 15, 2013

Japan eying Brazil upset in Confederations Cup opener

Japan will be the first one to say how good Brazil is, especially after being thrashed by the five-time world champions 4-0 in October. But that doesn’t mean it thinks Brazil are invincible. “We saw the France game,” Japan captain Makoto Hasebe said on ...

Baggio impressed by Japan's progress

Jun 9, 2013

Baggio impressed by Japan's progress

by Andrew Mckirdy

Italian soccer legend Roberto Baggio has paid tribute to the strides Japan has made under manager Alberto Zaccheroni, but the former FIFA World Player of the Year has warned his compatriot not to expect an easy ride at this month’s Confederations Cup. Japan became ...