Japan coach urges players to move
Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni wants his players to move abroad to play football at a higher level before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Japan had 11 Europe-based players in their squad of 25 for the Kirin Cup, with strikers Takashi Usami and Tadanari Lee set for moves to Germany, Yuto Nagatomo moving to Inter Milan and the injured Shinji Kagawa talking up a move to Manchester United.
Midfielder Yasuhito Endo of J-League side Gamba Osaka said Zaccheroni believed Japanese players had to play abroad to take their abilities to a new level.
"I've heard all about Italy from the coach," Endo told Nikkan Sports. "I leave those things up to my agent but I'm not the only one getting that sort of advice from the coach. He wants us to be playing at the highest club level.
"Unlike at club level there's only a limited period when they come back for Japan games.
"Because of the different schedules of the European and J-Leagues their conditioning is all over the place. I want them all to be at the same level when they're on international duty."