Samurai Blue Returns Home after Thrilling World Cup Run

Sports

Narita, Chiba Pref., Dec. 7 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese national men's soccer team returned home on Wednesday, after reaching the round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, for the second consecutive tournament.

An aircraft carrying the Samurai Blue touched down at Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, in the afternoon. Most of the members of the squad were on the flight home, with the exception of some based in Europe.

Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu, captain Maya Yoshida and others were each given a bouquet of flowers by airline employees. When they set foot in the airport's arrival lobby, the squad was welcomed by around 700 waiting fans chanting "Nippon!"

At a press conference in a nearby hotel, Moriyasu said, "We were able to compete in the world stage with courage, thanks to the voices of passionate support from people in Japan."

"While we were unable to see new scenery (reach the last eight for the first time), I think players showed us a new era," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press