Mon, 30 Nov, -0001
Born: 18/01/84, Fujieda, JapanPosition: Defensive midfielderCurrent Club: Eintracht Frankfurt (GER)World Cup Matches: 5World Cup Goals: 0
Makoto Hasebe, captain of Japan for a second FIFA World Cup finals, is one of the poster boys of Japanese football. His original role was as a playmaker when he was with his first club, Urawa Red Diamonds, whom he helped pick up domestic silverware and also the AFC Champions League 2007 title.
The 30-year old missed out on selection for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany but two years later, German club Wolfsburg signed him where he operated primarily as a holding midfielder. Hasebe was frequently in on the action for Wolfsburg who won the Bundesliga in his second season.
His growing achievements caught the attention of then Japan boss Takeshi Okada who appointed him captain at South Africa 2010. There the midfield maestro guided the Japanese through a tough group consisting of the Netherlands, Denmark and Cameroon. His inspirational leadership at the tournament saw him as the face of the Samurai Blue.
Hasebe has retained the captain's armband under Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni at Brazil 2014 and with their stunning rapid-fire 2-1 loss at the hands of Cote d'Ivoire in their group opener, his leadership will be called upon again to guide the team against Greece to keep their hopes of advancing to the Round of 16 alive.