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World Cup views from Tokyo, Group C: France, Peru and Australia

by Megha Wadhwa and Ben Stubbings

Contributing Writers

As the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off, The Japan Times got the lowdown from Japan-based supporters of some of the 32 teams fighting it out for the ultimate prize in Russia.

Today, group C:

Geoffroy Stoll (French)

Geoffroy Stoll
Geoffroy Stoll

Who’s your team’s man to watch?

Of course I think it will be Antoine Griezmann. He’s our main striker, he’s still young, but I think he will be the player to watch this year at the World Cup.

Which World Cup game are you most looking forward to?

It will be France’s first game against Australia next week, so we’ll see how fit the team is. Australia is not a big opponent, I think, but we have to respect them; it will be a tough game, I think. So, of course, the French team’s first game against Australia.

How far do you expect your team and Japan to go?

I think France can lift the trophy — I mean, they can, they are contenders for the trophy, so they can go to the final. We have a strong team, young players. We’ve been to the final of the European championship two years ago, so I think France can do something good this year.

As for Japan, I’m sorry, but it will be tough, because they have a strong group with Poland, I think, and Colombia — they are tough opponents. I think they sacked Vahid Halilhodzic just before the competition, and I’m not sure it was good decision to do that.

I’m not really confident about Japan, but if they stick together as a team — they have a huge team spirit so maybe they can — and if they go through the last 16, it will be something huge already.

Christian Zevallos (Peruvian)

Christian Zevallos
Christian Zevallos

Who’s your team’s man to watch?

The one I like to watch in Peru, his name is Edison Flores. He played in Denmark I think, and he is my favorite player.

Which World Cup game are you most looking forward to?

We have the first game with Denmark, but I’m waiting for the second game, Peru vs. France.

How far do you expect your team and Japan to go?

Well now, about my country, about my team, I think now it’s good quality — they play very good — so we went to Croatia, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, and today with Sweden, 0-0, so I think my country will be in the final — I have to — I think Peru will win the final.

Brock Rutch (Australian)

Brock Rutch
Brock Rutch

Who’s your team’s man to watch?

OK, the player to watch for the Socceroos is Daniel Arzani. He’s a 19-year-old and he plays on the wing — he’s very, very good. It’s his first World Cup but I think he’ll play very well. He scored his first goal against Hungary yesterday, I think. He did really well.

Which World Cup game are you most looking forward to?

Well, for Australia, the match I’m looking forward to is the opening match against France to see how well we do against a tough team. And the Danish game. If we don’t get a result against the Danish, we probably won’t get through to the round of 16.

How far do you expect your team and Japan to go?

I think Australia, if we get a result against the Danes and beat Peru, we should go through to the round of 16. I don’t think we’ll get much further than that. And Japan, they’ve — we’ve both — drawn a pretty tough group but look, Japan, they probably won’t get through to the round of 16. I hope they do, but yeah. .

So who’s going to win?

I think Brazil should take this year’s World Cup, but there’s a lot of good teams this year so, you know, Germany or maybe Belgium — I hope Belgium do well this year. It’s the end of a golden generation, so I hope they do well.

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