Mon, 30 Nov, -0001
Osaka: As the final qualification round for the 2016 Olympics women's football tournament kicks off on Tuesday, let's take a look at one of the participating teams, Japan.
FIFA Women’s World Ranking: 4th
AFC Women’s Ranking: 1st
Olympic Games: Runners-up 2012; Fourth place 2008; Quarter-finals 2004; Group Stage 1996
AFC Women’s Asian Cup (1): 2014; Runner-Up 2001, 1995, 1991, 1986 1986, 1991; Third 2010, 2008, 1997, 1993, 1989 Fourth 2006, 2003, 1999 Group Stage 1981, 1977
FIFA Women’s World Cup (1): 2011; Runner-up 2015; Quarter-Final 1995; Group Stage 2007, 2003, 1999
Host nation Japan boast a women’s national team that are currently one of the shining lights in the world game and have been one of the Asian Football Confederation’s finest ambassadors in recent times.
Taken to the hearts of the world during their memorable 2011 FIFA World Cup-winning campaign, the Nadeshiko became the first senior side from the continent to lift a football world title with their penalty shoot-out victory over the United States of America in Germany.
Norio Sasaki’s side have continued to enjoy great success since then after securing silver medals at the 2012 Olympic Games before lifting their first AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2014. A runners-up finish at last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup only underlines their status as contenders to qualify for Brazil 2016.
Current AFC Women’s Player of the Year Aya Miyama needs little introduction to continental football fans with the Nadeshiko captain having now been honoured three-times with the accolade AFC Women’s Player of the Year.
Capped over 150 times for Japan, stylish midfielder Miyama captained the side to a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games as well as her nation’s first-ever AFC Women’s Asian Cup title in 2014.
One of the key figures in the rise of Japan as a force in women’s football, Norio Sasaki has presided over one of the most successful reigns of any national team coach since taking charge of the Nadeshiko in 2008.
Having guided the side to Asian Games gold in 2010, Sasaki masterminded Japan’s historic 2011 FIFA Women’s Cup-winning campaign before helming them to a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, and glory at the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.