2024 Paris Olympic Women’s Football Preview: Japanese Women’s Football Team

2024 Paris Olympic Women’s Football Preview: Japanese Women’s Football Team

The 2024 Olympic Games in Paris are just around the corner, with a growing reputation for technical excellence, Japan has emerged to be reckoned as one of the top women's football teams. Let's find out why Japanese women's football team is so powerful these years.

1. Champions Legacy

    In fact, Japan's women's football team has been among the best in the world for many years, not just recently. As early as 2011, they claimed the FIFA Women's World Cup title in Germany, triumphing over reigning champions and host nation Germany, Nordic powerhouse Sweden, and tournament favorites the United States.

japanese womens football team won 2011 world cup

    Just as the Spanish women's team is known as "La Roja" and the French women's team is referred to as "Les Bleues," the Japanese women's team has a beautiful name—"Nadeshiko Japan." This name, which alludes to a gentle yet powerful pink flower, perfectly encapsulates the spirit and strength of Japanese women.

2. Why Japanese Women's Football Team So Powerful?

    Firstly, Japan has a strong youth development system that emphasizes technical skills and teamwork from an early age. This emphasis on fundamentals creates players who are proficient in ball control, precise passing, and tactical awareness. Their comprehensive youth development system covers high school and university teams across various age groups, from 12 to 21 years old. Each campus football match is broadcast nationwide, ensuring that every outstanding young player has the opportunity to advance to professional teams or be scouted by international clubs. This level of attention and a well-structured development mechanism have made campuses a cradle for nurturing future football stars. Sawa Homare, who led Japan to their 2011 Women's World Cup victory, is a prime example of a player who emerged from the campus system. After making a name for herself on the domestic stage, she transitioned to the NWSL.

japanese womens football youth training system

shcool women football in japan

    Secondly, the team embraces a collective approach to football, where each player contributes to the overall strategy, leading to a cohesive and effective unit on the pitch.

    how strong is the Japanese women's football team's passing and ball control ability? We can see through their convincing victory over the Spain.

    Thirdly, an increasing number of young talents have joined to highly competitive leagues like WSL and NWSL, where they are gradually improving and become star players. Take Manchester City midfielder Yui Hasegawa for example, who has become a key player for city, or Maika Hamano, who recently scored her first WSL goal for Chelsea. These players not only bring their skills and discipline to their new teams but also demonstrate the strength and adaptability of Japanese women's football players in some of the most competitive environments in the sport.

3. Recent Performance

    At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, they reached the quarterfinals before being eliminated by Sweden. Despite the early exit, the team's performance demonstrated their resilience and tactical acumen. The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup also showcased Japan's technical prowess, as they reached the quarterfinals with an impressive showing in the group stage and a stunning victory over Norway in the Round of 16. 

4. Chances and Challenges in Paris

     While Japan has a strong foundation, they face challenges from other top teams in the tournament, including the United States, Germany, and Brazil. Before they can achieve success in the later stages of the competition, their first challenge is to navigate through the group stage, where they will face tough opposition. The group includes powerhouse teams like Spain, Brazil, and the African giant, Nigeria. This challenging lineup means that Nadeshiko Japan will need to be at their best to secure a spot in the knockout rounds. 

    Besides, they will need to maintain their tactical discipline and capitalize on scoring chances. The team has a unique opportunity to showcase their technical skills on a global stage and potentially touch the medal dream at summer paris.

paris olympics women football draw and japanese womens football team line up
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