6/9/2018 1:11:55 PM (GMT+3)

Japan will depend on Maya at Russia World Cup

Japan will depend on Maya at Russia World Cup

NEW DELHI: Maya Yoshida, who has played all three games for Japan at Brazil 2014, is a reassuring presence in the back-line for many years now.

A lot will depend on this experienced Southampton defender as Japan hope to do better this time in Russia.

In addition to his defensive qualities, Yoshida has forged a reputation for scoring crucial goals, famously netting the only goal against a resilient Korea DPR to save Japan’s blushes in a qualifying match for Brazil 2014.

“In modern football, a defender can't just be tall, but must possess more than just defensive skills,” Yoshida told fifa.com. “In short, a modern player needs to be an all-rounder, and that includes going forward in attack.”

Since debuting in 2010, Yoshida has tallied ten goals in 80 international appearances.

Yoshida is among those boasting vast overseas experiences having spent the past eight years playing in Europe. He had a two-year stint with VVV-Venlo in the Netherlands before joining Southampton in 2012.

“It’s important to perform in a top level competition, especially the Premier League. I play against some of the world's best players. I have the experiences of playing at the highest level, which I can share with my national team-mates,” added the 29-year-old.