Hasebe taking pleasure in Japan pressure

VfL Wolfsburg midfielder Makoto Hasebe says he has no problems carrying the hopes of millions of Japanese football fans.

VfL Wolfsburg midfielder Makoto Hasebe says he has no problems carrying the hopes of millions of Japanese football fans.

The Japan national team captain has led the Blue Samurai to the semi-finals of the Asian Cup and is enjoying the pressure that is coming with the success of their tournament so far.

“It is a good pressure,” Hasebe told afcasiancup.com.

“The players have been changed for this tournament but we still carry the country on our shoulders. We have both pride and responsibility.

“I'm carrying the country on my back. It's pressure, yes, but not in a bad way.”

And Hasebe said the future of Japanese football was in a good position with the likes of Takashi Usami, Takayuki Morimoto and Ryo Miyaichi coming through the ranks.

“The future is very bright for Japan,” he added.

“This team at the moment has a lot of young players so I feel the potential for the next World Cup.

“The South Africa World Cup encouraged Japanese football. We had a great result during that tournament, so we have another expectation which is to reach the next World Cup. I'm very much looking forward to going to Brazil.”

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