KLOPP PICKS MINAMINO OVER COUTINHO

Reports say Liverpool manager rejected the chance to resign Phillipe Coutinho when it became clear his marriage with Barcelona was over. Ernesto Valverde never trusted Coutinho enough to give him the kind of freedom Neymar enjoyed while he was at the Camp Nou.

In signing Japan international Minamino, Klopp reveals he will rather go for an unproven player than take back a traitor whose love for the greener pastures made him ditch an Anfield crowd that loved him like shark love blood. A major faction of the crowd will only forget him once their current squad clinches the title they thought they couldn’t lift without Coutinho.

JAPAN PROGRESS IN U17 TOURNAMENT

Japan progressed to the round of 16 of the FIFA U17 World Cup with a 1-0 defeat of African nation Senegal. The match which was characterized by a flurry of chances saw Senegal rest their key players after securing qualification with two wins in a row.


The Japanese were on the offensive and were in control of the game in the opening stages testing the opposition stopper from range. The changes to the team affected Senegal who could not create many opportunities to get a foothold on the game.

KAGAWA LEAVES BORUSSIA DORTMUND FOR SPAIN

Japan international Shinji Kagawa has joined Spanish division two outfit Real Zaragoza according to a statement by Borussia Dortmund.  Kagawa had struggled for playing time last season under manager Lucien Favre and spent the second half of the season on loan at Turkish outfit Besiktas.

Kagawa has enjoyed a starring career after breaking through with Borussia Dortmund in 2010, the Japanese won back to back Bundesliga titles. He earned a dream move to Manchester United in 2012 but failed to truly express his abilities at the club.

EVERTON AFTER FORMER MANCHESTER UNITED STAR

English Premier League side Everton is reported to be interested in Japan international Shingi Kagawa. The 30-year-old has become surplus to requirements at Borussia Dortmund with the player spending the second half of the season at Turkish outfit Besiktas.

Kagawa is still highly rated in England after his mix spell at Manchester United. It is understood that there are several teams looking to sign the player in the summer. Dortmund are willing to listen to offers for the player and value him at around £5 million.

JAPAN LOSE SHE BELIEVES CUP

England have won the She Believes Cup for the first time as they defeated 2015 World Cup finalist Japan in the final game. The Lionesses came out blazing in a game that saw Japan crumble to three goals within the first 45 minutes.

Lucy Staniforth began the scoring with a neat finish from outside the box, while Karen Carney increased the lead with a nice header. The game was over just before halftime as Beth Mead Fired in from close range just before half-time.

PODOLSKI HOPES TO PLAY FOR COLOGNE AGAIN

Vissel Kobe FC striker Lukas Podolski has revealed he would love to turn out for hometown club Cologne again before he finally calls time on his illustrious career.

Podolski made a bold decision last summer, leaving Turkish giants Galatasary for Japan to play for Vissel Kobe FC – a move in which many saw as the player bidding farewell to playing football at the highest level. Maybe he felt it was time to rake in the cash.

NADESHIKO JAPAN EMERGE VICTORIOUS AGAINST NORWAY

The Japanese women national team, Nadeshiko came out on top in a friendly game against Norway on Sunday in preparation for the 2019 FIFA women’s world cup. Forward ManaIwabuchi was the cream of the crop for Japan.

Japan started on the front foot, when forward Kumi Yokoyama gave them an early lead in the 16th minute, courtesy of a well-placed shot, sending the Japanese fans into ecstasy at the Tottori Bird Stadium. The manager and the fans were visibly excited to see their team take the lead so early in the game.

Rafael Benitez heaps praise on debutants versus Tottenham Hotspur

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has heaped praise on debutants Yoshinori Muto and Salomon Rondon, who came as late substitutes during the 2-1 Premier League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Japan international Muto joined the Magpies on a permanent deal from Mainz earlier in the summer whilst Rondon arrived on a season-long loan from West Bromwich Albion in exchange for Dwight Gayle.

Speaking after the Spurs’ defeat, Benitez was particularly appreciative of the efforts of Muto and Rondon, who managed to make an impact following their introduction onto the playing field, he said: “They did well [Muto and Rondon]. They were trying hard, now it is just about improving the understanding with the rest of their team-mates. So they know what we want to do and how the other team-mates will react. Once they get that, they will be better, but with Muto, Rondon, Joselu and Ayoze (Perez), we have four different kinds of strikers, and that can be good.”

Nishino Unhappy with Own Defensive Tactics against Poland

Japanese national team coach Akira Nishino claimed that he made a couple of mistakes – especially with regards to tactics – in the recent loss against Poland. Japan were expected to be a strong contender to reach the last 16 of the World Cup 2018, as the team were placed in a relatively comfortable group that included the likes of Poland and Senegal. However, a tough set of matches to start the competition led to Japan coming into the game against Poland in a difficult circumstance. Rather than try and go out for a victory, Japan were surprisingly defensive in the 1-0 loss against Poland.

After the game,Nishino admitted that he was playing on Colombia to beat Senegal rather than go for a victory against Poland and suffer more disadvantage in terms of goal difference. Incredibly, this controversial approach surprisingly worked out well for Japan, who were able to end up level with Senegal on a number of parameters. However, Japan were able to progress into the last 16 as a result of picking up two fewer cards. It remains to be seen ifNishino’s open admission will be at a disadvantage to the team when they take on Belgium, who are clear favourites for the World Cup title, in the round of last 16.

Akira Nishino Eyeing Knockouts With Japan

Japan’s new head coach Akira Nishino is optimistic of the nation reaching the knock stage of this summer’s World Cup. Following disappointing friendly results against Mali and Ukraine in March, the JFA made the surprise decision to sack Vahid Halilhodzic, despite there being just over two months before the World Cup starts in Russia.

Speaking on FIFA.com, Nishino is hoping to put the best team together for the global tournament, and he has set the aim of progressing beyond the group stage, he said: “I will give my all to put together a team for Russia. I feel a strong responsibility. I have been away from the dugout for two years, and now I have to get my mind and body together as a manager. I don’t think we have fallen apart as a team at all. I don’t think we’ve been getting the results we should have and we haven’t reached our full potential yet. I want to get results. It’s the World Cup, so I want us to show that we are good enough to get to the knockout phase.”