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Wednesday April 9, 2014 MYT 6:32:47 PM
Wednesday April 9, 2014 MYT 6:33:47 PM
Japan's head coach Alberto Zaccheroni looks at his players before their international friendly soccer match against New Zealand at the national stadium in Tokyo March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
(Reuters) - Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni has a problem many of his counterparts would be delighted to contend with as they ponder their squads for this year's World Cup - too many players.
The Italian held a training camp for home-based players this week and said the performances of some of them looked like giving him a headache when he sits down to select the 23 players he takes to Brazil in June.
"The big problem I have when it comes to selecting the final squad is not that I don't have enough players, but it is that I have them in abundance," Zaccheroni told local media on Wednesday.
"Some coaches have a lack of players but for me that is not the case. It will be a good thing if I am stressing out right until the last minute about who to select."
While Zaccheroni was reluctant to single out players for special praise, he said he had stressed to them that there was still the opportunity for J.League-based footballers to force themselves into the reckoning for a place in his squad.
"The objective of this camp was to get a close look at many players who I have only watched from the stands," he added.
"I've seen how the players play with their team mates at their clubs and what I wanted to do was see how they fit in with the national team.
"There were more players who I wanted to bring and take a look at but you have to allow for tight schedules and there are only so many players I can call. I just wanted to see some new faces.
"I have already told the players here that after I come back from taking a look at players in Europe, I will be casting my eye over the domestic group again and the national team staff will also be checking on them."
Japan have been drawn in Group C for the first round of the World Cup and open their campaign against Ivory Coast on June 14 in Recife before matches against Greece and Colombia.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by John O'Brien)
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