An Asian team has never won the men’s FIFA World Cup. In the tournament’s history, the champions have always been either from Europe or South America.
But, several Asian countries still come to the world stage to compete. South Korea has the most appearances, as this 2022, they are making their 11th. Meanwhile, Japan is on their seventh World Cup appearance, which they will later be opening with a match against Germany.
Germany is one of football’s biggest nations and have four World Cup titles. They have been to eight tournament finals and reached the semifinals 12 times in the past.
Although they suffered their worst World Cup performance in Russia 2018, they are still favored to make it far in the competition this year. And with big-name players, they will be tough to beat, especially for Japan.
As one of the few Asian countries present at this year’s World Cup, the captain of Japan’s team, Maya Yoshida, has expressed that they are not only representing their own country, but other Asian countries as well.
“Of course, we’re representing Japan but also Asia. In Qatar, there are many people from other Asian countries like India and Philippines. I hope we’ll have many supporters from Asia because we’ll need it,” Yoshida said in a statement.
Indeed, Qatar has a large population of Filipinos, with a population in the country of around 250,000. Whether this will reflect in the stands of the stadium in Japan’s first match later, we have yet to see.
But certainly, many Filipinos from all over the world tuning into the World Cup will be rooting for their fellow Asian athletes.
Banner image from Maya Yoshida on Twitter.