Injury-hit Japanese centre back Marcus Tulio Tanaka will miss next month's Asian Cup in Qatar after being left out of the squad announced today.
Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni had no room for the Brazilian-born 29-year-old in his 50-strong preliminary squad, which will be slimmed down to a final 23 players by 28 December. The list features 11 Europe-based players includes CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa, Wolfsburg midfielder Makoto Hasebe and Cesena defender Yuto Nagatomo.
Tanaka, who helped Nagoya Grampus win their first J-League title in November, is scheduled to go home to Brazil on Wednesday for further treatment on his injured right knee.
"I've taken into account harmony between the players' talent and the team, their physical condition and aspiration," Zaccheroni told reporters at Tokyo's Narita airport before he left for a tour of Europe.
Japan, three-time Asian Cup champions, are aiming to regain the title they lost in 2007. "There are so many good players that it was not easy to narrow the list to 50," he said. "It naturally includes many young players as we have set our sights on the 2014 World Cup."
But the Italian tactician did not include 21-year-old university student Kensuke Nagai, who scored five goals to power Japan to the Asian Games title in Guangzhou, China, last month. "The university league is a lot easier than the J-League," Zaccheroni said.