Risa Shimizu opens up Japan’s preparations for the Women’s World Cup

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Risa Shimizu, a defender from Japan, is aiming to overcome the disappointment of their 2019 campaign by paying close attention to every aspect of the game.

She hopes that this approach will help the Nadeshiko team leave a lasting impression at the Women’s World Cup in July and August. 

In the previous tournament in France, Shimizu played in all of Japan’s matches. However, despite finishing second in their group, they were eliminated in the round of 16 with a 2-1 defeat against the Netherlands, who eventually reached the final.

This was a disappointing outcome for a nation that had defeated the United States to become the World Cup champions in 2011 and came in second place to the Americans in the final four years later.

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“It was really frustrating in 2019, so this time I feel that I have to do better,” she told Reuters at the pre-tournament training camp in Chiba.

“For the World Cup I think from now on we need to bring ourselves to perfection, and really pay attention to the details.”

Shimizu, who represents West Ham United in England, is recognized for her hard work, running down the sides, and accurate crosses. The Japanese women’s football team has always been known for their excellent technical abilities, but Shimizu believes they need to focus even more to get ready for the upcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, starting on July 20th.

“Today we practiced throw-ins,” she added. “We want to focus on such actions and make it perfect so that we can go to the World Cup as a competitive team.”

Hina Sugita, a midfielder for the Portland Thorns in the US, was consistently present throughout the 2019 season and is confident that Japan will be a strong competitor if all players perform at their best.

“I want nothing more than to win our games and advance to the next stage,” she said.

“It’s not going to be easy to win, so everyone needs to put on their best performance, and I will also do my best towards the victory.”

Japan has been placed in Group C for the opening round, along with Spain, Costa Rica, and Zambia.


Goalkeepers: Yamashita Sayaka, Hirao Chika, Tanaka Momoko 

Defenders: Kumagai Saki, Miyake Shiori, Shimizu Risa, Seike Kiko, Moriya Miyabi, Minami Moeka, Ishikawa Rion, Takahashi Hana 

Midfielders: Naomoto Hikaru, Hasegawa Yui, Sugita Hina, Hayashi Honoka, Nagano Fuka, Miyazawa Hinata, Endo Jun, Fujino Aoba

Forwards: Tanaka Minami, Chiba Remina, Ueki Riko, Hamano Maika

READ ALSO: South Korea call up US-born teenager Casey Phair for Women’s World Cup

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