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Keisuke Honda named in Japan squad

Japan head coach Alberto Zaccheroni has picked out Colombia as their main rival in the group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Alberto Zaccheroni has picked AC Milan midfielder Keisuke Honda among 12 Europe-based players in Japan's 23-man World Cup squad.

Honda has scored just one goal since joining Milan from CSKA Moscow in January but played a key role in Japan's qualifying campaign.

Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa and Mainz forward Shinji Okazaki were also included in the squad Zaccheroni unveiled at a news conference on Monday.

Joining them was veteran forward Yoshito Okubo, who played for Japan in South Africa four years ago and has scored eight goals this season for J-League club Kawasaki Frontale.

Japan, which co-hosted the World Cup with South Korea in 2002, are preparing for its fifth consecutive World Cup campaign and faces Ivory Coast, Greece and Colombia in Group C.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege), Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Reds), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)

Defenders: Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo Iwata), Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan), Masato Morishige (FC Tokyo), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover), Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart)

Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Makoto Hasebe (Nuremberg), Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka)

Forwards: Keisuke Honda (AC Milan), Yoshito Okubo (Kawasaki Frontale), Shinji Okazaki (Mainz), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United), Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nuremberg), Yoichiro Kakitani (Cerezo Osaka), Manabu Saito (Yokohama F Marinos), Yuya Osako (1860 Munich)

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