soccer

Japanese soccer fans remember their manners in Brazil, clean up before going home

Their national team may have lost their World Cup game against Ivory Coast yesterday morning, but Japanese fans didn’t forget their manners, it would seem.

Like all good kids who remember to say thank you to their friend’s mother after playing at their home, Japan’s passionate football fans reportedly grabbed refuse bags and cleaned up after themselves before leaving the stadium following their team’s match against the African side.

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What does blood type have to do with the Japan national football team?

At first glance, it may seem like Alberto Zaccheroni, the head coach of the Japan national football team, systematically screens his players’ blood types before letting them onto the team. After all, out of the total 23 players on the 2014 national team, only three of them have blood type B blood. That number was zero for the 2012 national team. So is this fact pure coincidence, or is there something larger at work here?

Actually, the answer may lie in Japan and other East Asian countries’ belief that blood type determines character traits. Still not convinced? Read on to learn why football players with type B blood may actually be at a disadvantage in the game.

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Japan’s manga World Cup team: Titans, pirates, and, of course, Captain Tsubasa

Japan’s national soccer team floundered through the first several decades of its existence before finally earning its first World Cup berth in 1998. Since then the squad has shown steady improvement, with an impressive performance in South Africa in 2010 that saw it reach the Round of 16.

But while expectations and confidence are both running high, that doesn’t mean Japanese soccer fans don’t wish there countrymen could receive a little help from the world of comics and animation, as shown in a poll asking which manga characters they wish were a part of Japan’s team competing in Brazil.

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Soccer: Made in China?

It’s easy to trace the roots of American football and basketball, as they’re both comparatively recently developed sports. Things get a little more difficult with soccer, though.

While the world’s most popular sport got its first set of standardized competition rules in 1863, courtesy of England’s Football Association, the game had existed in various forms for some time before that. Several countries have since claimed to be the birthplace of soccer, but one now has the official recognition of the president of soccer’s international governing body.

According to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, soccer originated in China.

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Samurai in Brazil shows off incredible freestyle football skills ahead of World Cup

There’s now less than a week left until the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and media and businesses all over the world are gearing up. Japan is no exception, with celebratory events going on and brands rushing to launch special themed products. In amongst it all, one particular advert from Cup Noodle maker Nissin has caught our eye for its great combination of traditional Japan and modern Brazil.

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Soccer manga “Captain Tsubasa” introduces yet another delightfully ludicrous soccer move

The majority of popular manga and anime are filled to the brim with characters that have ridiculous special moves. But while fans with a reasonable grasp on reality know they can’t possibly recreate Goku’s Kamehameha beam or Attack on Titan’s gravity-defying leaps, part of the appeal of action sports manga and anime is in trying to recreate the awesome-looking (though usually wildly rule-breaking) special moves featured within. Think every North American kid that tried to recreate The Mighty Ducks’ infamous “Knuckle Puck,” but far more ludicrous.

But we’re a little concerned that we might soon be seeing a nationwide epidemic of Japanese kids turning up to hospital with all kinds of mangled limbs in the near future, because already pretty ridiculous soccer manga Captain Tsubasa just introduced this wildly dangerous and maybe physically impossible new special move:

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OMGooooaal! Pros nail the incredible “Twin Shoot” move from soccer manga Captain Tsubasa【Videos】

The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil is almost upon us, folks! And if you’re a manga fan, just pick your poison to get properly revved up: the first volume of the Captain Tsubasa remix has been available since May in convenience stores all over Japan, Volume 1 of the new series Captain Tsubasa: Rising Sun just came out,  and then there is the comic’s upcoming exhibition in Tokyo.

As if that weren’t enough, the Japan Professional Football League (J. League for short) has been collaborating with the über-influential soccer manga on a project called “Dream Shoot”. In it, as the name suggests, J. League players take on the challenge of bringing to life the dynamic and often over-the-top soccer moves featured in the long-running comic.

So today, we bring to you Part Three of the collaboration, in which three athletes from the Cerezo Ōsaka team reenact the “Twin Shoot”. Read on to view all three awesome videos, as well as to learn a little more about the manga series and its exhibition (because let’s face it, Flash Kicker, as it’s known in the U.S., never made it big here unlike the rest of the world). Even for a soccer newb like me, the “Dream Shoots” are a sight to behold!

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Saitama soccer fans employ Art of War strategy to make up for low turnout

It’s well known that a large crowd (or lack thereof) can have a dramatic psychological impact on a team’s performance. Unfortunately for Saitama’s soccer team, Omiya Ardija, it was hard for fans to get out to the ground to cheer during the Wednesday night J-League Cup qualification match against the Tokushima Vortis.

Nevertheless, those who managed to make it to the stadium went the extra mile to get their team pumped for a win, taking along an army of two-dimensional fans to fill seats.

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Samurai Blue fans putting their best foot forward with cute girls in uniform!【Photos】

With the World Cup just around the corner, participating nations are getting ready to cheer on their country’s team. Japan is no different with both the men and women getting behind “Samurai Blue” and small country flags and plastic megaphones have been purchased by the Kei-truck loads.

Parked in front of the TV at home or out with friends, we fret about what the final score will be, and who the next match will be against. But what we fret about more is deciding the most fashionable way to adorn ourselves in team colors. How best to wear our team jerseys and show support but also, work it! But just how do you make the men’s style jersey look good on a woman’s body? What to do!!! Worry not ladies, fashion magazines and the internet to the rescue!

Besides, nothing says “GO TEAM!” more than a horde of cute girls in the team’s uniform!

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Neat idea turns fast food tray and smartphone into functional football game

With the World Cup fast approaching, football fever (that’s soccer mania, for our American readers) is taking over fans everywhere, but perhaps nowhere more so than in already football-manic host country Brazil.

One fast food chain there has hit on a football-related promotion far more fun than the usual athlete endorsement: allowing customers to turn their food trays into a 3-D video game and shoot penalty kicks at a smartphone-sized goalie.

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Kyoto Sanga F.C. takes the cheekiest free kick ever with long line of dummies

Football, or soccer if you will, is sometimes accused of being a dull spectator sport on account of the limited number of goals that are often scored in games and its propensity to end in stalemate.

But for every 10 minutes of dull passing, frustrating off-sides and tedious throw-ins, there’s usually at least one moment of heart-racing sporting magic to be had, and this amazingly cheeky goal scored yesterday by J-League team Kyoto Sanga FC against Yokohama FC undoubtedly provided plenty of entertainment value for supporters of both sides.

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KFC launches collaboration with soccer star Ronaldo, ensures next generation will be too fat to play

KFC Japan has announced it is getting in on the fast food giant’s tie up with international soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo starting April 28 by offering new menu items at all Japanese stores. Ronaldo’s face may be all over this stuff, but something tells me this kind of fully fried meal doesn’t actually go in his face very often…

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Soccer fan’s Attack on Titan parody is so awesome it got him a job 【Video】

The other day, faced with another bleakly overcast, freezing cold day, we wife and I decided that the local video store was as far a trip as we were willing to brave the elements for, and came back with a stack of Attack on Titan DVDs. After watching a dozen episodes of the biggest anime hit in recent memory, the only time I’m not bugging her with my rendition of the show’s opening theme is when she’s singing it herself (thankfully, she does a much better job of staying on-key than I do).

There’s just something infectious about the show’s anthem, “Guren no Yumiya.” It’s helped its performers Linked Horizon get famous, thousands of fans get pumped up, and even one soccer fan get a job.

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University students start a JK fan club, confuse twitter users everywhere

Clubs are a big part of student life in Japan. From junior high school all the way through to university, students spend hours away from home with their classmates, immersed in an extra-curricular endeavour of choice. While sporting clubs, music clubs, and culture clubs are common, it’s not everyday you come across a JK club. So when a group of university students posted their pamphlet for new recruits online, even Japanese netizens were left scratching their heads. Could this be a group of JK Rowling enthusiasts? A Japan/Korea appreciation society? The real answer turned out to be just as perturbing, with Japanese commenters still wondering why.

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Adidas launches surprisingly powerful ad campaign alongside Japan’s new official football shirt

Adidas Japan recently launched its newly designed official shirts for the Japanese national football (or soccer if you’d rather) team, no doubt prompting thousands of fans to rush out and place orders in the name of supporting their side while wearing the same style “samurai blue” uniform.

Ordinarily we wouldn’t pay too much attention to the launch of a mere sporting garment – though we have to admit it is pretty stylish – but the promotional ad that was released alongside it really knocked us for six. Check it out after the jump.

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Amazing Japanese grade-schooler enters fast track to playing soccer for Real Madrid 【Videos】

These days, it’s not uncommon for Japanese soccer players to be placed on foreign teams. Shinji Kagawa with Manchester United and Yuto Nagatomo with Inter Milan are just two examples of Japanese athletes who play for teams abroad.

Now, the island country can lay claim to a new rising star, a nine-year-old soccer player who recently signed a contract with the world-famous Spanish soccer club, Real Madrid. Read on for a full introduction to this talented young player, as well as some videos of his amazing play style!

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Arsenal’s Lukas Poldoski earns scores of Japanese fans after revealing new shin pads

In Japan, the manga series Captain Tsubasa was a veritable bible for young aspiring soccer players now active today. Practically every J. League player on the pitch today was reading the series or watching the anime during the ’80s.

This wasn’t just limited to Japan though; the popularity of the soccer-themed comic had spread around the world touching the hearts of young athletes everywhere. Professional soccer player Lionel Messi professed his love for the story, as did Andres Iniesta, Francesco Totti… The list goes on and on.

Among these many pros, German forward Lukas Podolski recently found himself in the loving cyber-embrace of Japan after posting a picture of his new shin guards complete with image of Captain Tsubasa‘s Kojiro Hyuga.

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Vietnamese Arsenal fan quite literally chases his dreams, is welcomed onto team bus

To achieve your dreams, you have to really want it. You need drive, determination and, if this video is anything to go by, a good pair of legs.

Taken in Hanoi by a member of English Premier League football club Arsenal, the following video sees one young Vietnamese fan chasing after the team’s tour bus for some five miles, waving and pounding the badge emblazoned on his chest with such vigour that the team eventually decides to welcome him on board for a once-in-a-lifetime private autograph and photo session.

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Yasu High School continues to impress with their promotional soccer videos

For any young man in Japan looking to get into professional soccer, enrollment in Yasu High School in Shiga Prefecture would be a good decision. This school has graduated several pros in Japan and is continuing to build a reputation for soccer skills since winning the National High School Soccer Championship in 2006. In case you don’t believe them, they posted a promotional video on YouTube showing a brief minute-and-a-half flurry of fancy footwork along with surprisingly good cinematography for a high school video.

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Boom! Head shot! Goalie takes bullet to the head, keeps playing

In the world of sports, it’s not unusual to hear of players working through physical and mental maladies for the sake of the games they love. In fact, some might say that these kinds of amazing stories are a large part of what keeps fans interested.

But we’re not sure how many players can claim they’ve played a soccer game with a bullet in their brain pan!

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