The Japanese women’s teams may not have the word ‘Samurai’ in their nickname, but they clearly have the same warrior spirit as their male counterparts.
Indeed, even after taking just one point from their opening two matches at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Germany 2010, with their destiny firmly out of their own hands, the Nadeshiko refused to give up hope of reaching the knockout phase heading into their final Group C game against England – as shown by the way they decorated their dressing room!
While some of Norio Sasaki’s players had written in their native Japanese, others had written in English. Among the messages were ‘No guts, no glory’, ‘Fight!’, ‘Top of the world!’ and ‘Do your best’. And that Japan certainly did, with a Natsuki Kishikawa double helping them beat England 3-1.
As it transpired, it wasn’t enough to prevent an early elimination, but there’s no doubt the Japanese left the most eye-catching dressing room in Germany!