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The AFC Asian Cup will kick off from January 12, 2023, in Qatar, where the joy of advancing to the round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup remains. The Korean national soccer team, led by coach Jurgen Klinsmann, is challenging for the top of the tournament, and many fans are looking forward to the Qatar Asian Cup, hoping that the Taegeuk Warriors will reach the top of Asia for the first time in 63 years.
The hope is the same for other Asian countries participating in the tournament. Not only countries that are aiming for the top, like Korea, but also weak players who are considered so-called "underdogs" hope that their soccer status will be elevated at the Asian Cup. In addition, a large number of superstar players, which were not easily seen in the Asian soccer community in the past, are active, and the "fun to see stars" is expected to be a bigger competition than ever.
In response, "Best Eleven" directly heard the prospects and expectations of the competition from reporters from major Asian countries who met while staying in Doha, Qatar, from the 7th to the 11th. In addition, he asked about how Klinsmann worked. The Asian Cup, which is viewed from a different perspective from ours, gives new fun.
They asked a total of three questions to a total of seven football journalists who are all recognized in their countries. I deliver their honest answers to Korean soccer fans. It would be quite an interesting response in that it is a different perspective from ours. And thank you to Asian soccer journalists who answered without any regret. The first question and response are as follows.
Only one of the seven soccer journalists named South Korea, and almost all reporters are expected to win in Japan
Nobuhiro Chiba, Japanese Nikkan Sports Reporter
"In terms of objectivity, I think Japan, which has many European players such as Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton of Hove Albion) and Takefusa Kubo, will win. But soccer is not that simple. Like Jose Mourinho's tactics in the past or "Catenacho," which was common in Serie A, there is also a way to "keep and keep and win after scoring one goal." Therefore, we cannot guarantee that Japan will win unconditionally. Japan is the most likely player, but I think there is enough chance for Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Iran as well as South Korea."
Japanese Sports Hochi Reporter Takashi Kanagawa
"I hope Japan wins. Of course, Korea and Japan drew attention by beating Germany and Spain in the 2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup. However, they failed to win two consecutive Asian Cup titles. Japan's next goal is to reach the quarterfinals or higher at the World Cup. In order for Japan to advance to the quarterfinals or higher of the World Cup, it must become the No. 1 player in Asia, that is, the Asian Cup champion. Of course, South Korea, Australia, Iran and Qatar are the strongest rivals, but Japan has enough players to win the championship."
Shu Zhuhao, Chinese American TV reporter
If the forecast is divided into percentages, it will be 60 percent for Japan and 40 percent for Korea. Since last year, Japan has shown an amazing ability to beat Germany twice. He continues to perform well under the leadership of coach Moriyasu Hajime, and now seems to have become a clear "one-team." Moreover, Japan has Asia's best technology and tactical capabilities. So I think Japan has the best chance of winning the Asian Cup among the teams participating in this tournament."
Misagi Iran IRIB TV3 Reporter
"I think there are three or four teams that are likely to be champions for now. I think Japan is the strongest candidate to win. This is because of the skills and qualities of the Japanese national team players who play for the best clubs in Europe. The results of Japan's recent friendly match show that it is simply a sensation. I see players who are driving more than four goals in six consecutive wins, and this trend seems to be the best timing to win the championship."
"After Japan, I want to pick my country, Iran. All Iranian fans want to at least get our national team to the finals. We have the best goaltender in Portugal like Mehdi Taremi. Saudi Arabia, Korea, and Australia are considered to be teams that are trying to win the championship with a similar probability to Korea and Iran. The chances of winning are equal, and I think that the main character must go through various miracles and accidents through the competition to be decided."
Sharafina Nazrom, journalist at Astro Arena in Malaysia
In terms of the current reputation, I think it's Korea. South Korea is considered to be the candidate with the best power to fill the weight of the matchup in the Qatar Asian Cup final. If I were to pick the second favorite, I would like to point out Qatar, which is backed by the host country's premium."
Raul Bali, India's Goldcom reporter
Personally, I think either Japan or Saudi Arabia will win the championship. In particular, Japan has many ties with Qatar. He won the 2011 AFC Qatar Asian Cup here in Qatar and also performed well at last year's World Cup. I'm always doing well in Qatar. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, has not won the Asian Cup for more than 25 years. I'm sure he wants to keep a winning record through this tournament."
Avilash Narapat Promotes Qatar Asian Cup Organizing Committee And Former ESPN Reporter
"It is very difficult to predict the champion as the Asian teams are getting better and better, whether we saw it at the last World Cup. However, as it stands now, I think Japan is the team with the best power. Japan has both 'power' and 'depth'. If one player is injured, another player can participate and fill the spot. Even if Daichi Kamada is injured, three players are competing for positions. Thanks to you, I have a very good history. Not only that. There are also incredibly good Kubona Mitoma. I think Japan has the power to win. But I don't know soccer again. There are opportunities for other teams, too."
Tuesday, October 24, 2023