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Home » WOWOW Co., Ltd. “The games are as interesting as the World Cup.” Former Japan representative Keisuke Tsuboi summarizes the group stage of “EURO 2024” and looks ahead to the final tournament! WOWOW will broadcast all games from the final T onwards l

WOWOW Co., Ltd. “The games are as interesting as the World Cup.” Former Japan representative Keisuke Tsuboi summarizes the group stage of “EURO 2024” and looks ahead to the final tournament! WOWOW will broadcast all games from the final T onwards l

WOWOW Co., Ltd.
“The games are as interesting as the World Cup.” Former Japan representative Keisuke Tsuboi summarizes the group stage of “EURO 2024″ and looks ahead to the final tournament! WOWOW will broadcast all games from the final T onwards live with Japanese commentary and commentary!
The UEFA EURO 2024(TM) European Soccer Championship (hereinafter referred to as Euro) captivates soccer fans around the world. The 16 teams that have made it through the fiercely-contested group stage (hereinafter referred to as GS) will compete, and the final tournament will begin at midnight on Saturday, June 29th, Japan time, with only a loss being the end. WOWOW will broadcast all 15 games of the final tournament live with Japanese commentary and commentary.
Keisuke Tsuboi, who serves as a commentator for WOWOW, said, “This tournament may be more difficult to break through to the GS than the World Cup,” he says, raving about the high level of each country’s level. What does this tournament look like in the eyes of Mr. Tsuboi, a former member of the Japanese national team who also participated in the World Cup? We spoke to him about his outlook for the final tournament. Mr. Tsuboi will also be in charge of commentary for the final, which will be held in Berlin on Monday, July 15th (Japan time).
[Image 1:×1000.jpg] Spain and Germany seem to be one step ahead of us.
Italy’s Riccardo Calafioli is a new discovery
–What is your overall impression of GS?
Just like in the World Cup, I felt that GS is going to be a struggle for all countries. The only countries that are progressing smoothly are Spain, Germany, and Portugal; all the other countries seem to be struggling. It may be said that it is a tournament that is more difficult to break through to the GS than the World Cup. I think even teams from countries other than the so-called powerhouses are playing very good soccer. In that sense, I felt that it would be difficult to break through to GS.
England are considered favorites for the championship, but although they have a good squad, I had the impression that they would always struggle. I feel that we are in a difficult situation so far in this tournament. The more I looked at the members, the more I thought they were an incredible team, but to be honest, when I looked at them, I was like, “Wow?” I feel that the fun of soccer is that you can’t win just by having good players together.
–Which country made you realize once again its high potential? Spain and Germany give the impression that they have a sophisticated 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 tactically, as well as their player base. Not only is he good in possession of the ball, but he is also quick after winning the ball. Can be used both inside and outside. I get the impression that this is a team that can do anything. I feel that the players and the soccer they are playing are second to none, and if things go well, it would be a shame for both countries to end up facing each other in the quarterfinals.
Also, Portugal is one of the countries that I am personally paying attention to. There are many good young players, but one of the reasons we are paying attention is that players of the same
generation, such as Pepe (Porto, 41 years old), are also active. Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nasr) is also 39 years old. It’s really amazing that he is playing at the top level at his age.
I think it’s great that they’ve been able to produce results, even though there was a possibility that they wouldn’t do well as a team because they were too strong individually. In one article, Joao Cancelo (Barcelona) said, “(Ronaldo) is past his peak, but he is influential in many ways, and he is fighting for the team, so he can do what he can for the national team.” I was making a statement. I think it’s good to have an environment where young players can say, “He’s past his peak.”
I believe that in order for a team to achieve results, it definitely needs players with a lot of experience. On the other hand, if young players do not develop, the team’s cycle will not continue. I think it’s the director’s job to do that well. There was a time when I felt the dilemma of thinking that I was able to act as a veteran, but that wasn’t the case for those around me. Looking at the situation in Portugal, I feel that it is in very good condition in that sense as well.
–What are your impressions of France, which is listed as a candidate for the championship?
It looks like you can’t score points. They have players like Mbappé, Dembele (Paris Saint-Germain), and Thuram (Inter) who can score points with their individual strengths, but so far they have not been able to score points. This may be due to the strength of defense and the high level of goalkeepers in European countries.
In this tournament, many teams have adopted a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 system, but when defending, they can change to a five-back system to protect, or they can fit tightly into the midfield to defend. I get the impression that their defense is very sophisticated. When there are powerful wide attackers, I get the impression that they are quite sophisticated in not only increasing the number of players at the back, but also getting the players in front to get down and eliminate the space. On the other hand, I believe that the wings are very important in the attacking part, and if we can remove one or two pieces here, the opponent’s defensive organization will collapse in an instant. It would be nice if the wingers moved in and the fullbacks moved up, but in either case, I think it’s important to have players who can separate from the sides.
–Who is the most impressive team throughout GS?
I felt that Spain was really strong. Ramin Yamal (Barcelona) is one of them, but Nico Williams (Athletic) is also amazing. The wingers are strong, as is the middle line with Rodri (Manchester City) and Pedri (Barcelona). In modern soccer, it’s not just the central line, I think it’s pretty important to be able to separate opponents from the wings. In that respect, I feel that both wings of Spain are in good condition.
–Is there anything Japanese soccer should learn from this tournament? I’m a defensive person, so I pay attention to the defense. I had a chance to talk with Wataru Endo (Liverpool) the other day, and I thought there was still a difference between Europe and Japan when it comes to stealing the ball. The speed with which they go to steal the ball and the sense of distance with which they approach are different. In order to steal the ball, you have to get close to the ball holder, but if you get scared and leave space between you, you won’t be able to get the ball, and if you back down, the team will get scolded. It may be easier for the defenders to follow the players who have left the field, as the defender line will not collapse and there will be less risk, but in European players, the defenders will try to steal the ball. He takes the risk of giving up his own space and coming forward to steal the ball even if it’s man-to-man at the back. I think that’s why it’s such an aggressive defense, and it’s so interesting to watch. I think it would be good if this kind of defense became more standard in Japan as well. I think this is where “awareness” and daily “habits” become important. We live in a world where if you hesitate even for a moment, you won’t be able to make it in time, so I feel it’s important to practice thoroughly every day.
――We talked about defense, are there any defensive players you are interested in?
Italy’s Riccardo Calafioli (Bologna) was as shocked as when Croatia’s Joško Gvardiol (Manchester City) came out. Of course, he has the size and is strong on his feet, so he is definitely good at defense, but he is also able to carry the ball forward with his left foot, so I am keeping an eye on him.
Modern defenders are required to be able to pass and carry the ball forward, but as I always say, a defender must first be able to defend. In that respect, Gvardiol and Calafioli are also amazing defensively. I think it’s amazing that he can handle so many attacking tasks based on that.
[Image 2:×1000.jpg] Expectations are high for the team to bounce back after struggling at GS.
–The final tournament is finally starting, which team are you interested in? I’m curious about the Netherlands, who passed the GS in 3rd place and will play against Romania. The DF line is full of great players, including subs. In terms of leadership, I feel that their compactness and interpersonal skills are top class in the world. However, while they have a good lineup of players on the front and defensive lines, their midfield may be a little lacking due to the absence of Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona). Perhaps because of that, I get the impression that his scoring ability is not very good.
However, there are many cases where teams that struggled in the GS recover in the final tournament. I’m paying a lot of attention to that. Which team will advance to the finals: the teams that
successfully passed the GS, such as Germany, Spain, and Portugal, or the teams that struggled in the GS, such as England, France, Italy, and the Netherlands? It’s a series of games, and teams like Spain that make turnovers seem to have an advantage, but that’s not necessarily the case. That said, Spain has been winning fairly well, and Portugal and others are also in good shape. I’m really curious as to which team will emerge victorious.
–What is important when your team is not doing well during a tournament? Since the tournament has started, there is no point in commenting on the relationship between the coach and the players. I think the most important thing is for the players to be in a state of “Let’s do it!” on the pitch. If we managed to win despite things not going well at GS, I think it was just the players doing their best on the pitch. I think it is important for the team, including the bench members, to come together and fight as one.
–What is your prediction for the winner?
I think the uninteresting and safe answer would be Spain, but personally I have high hopes for Belgium as well. Although Belgium is ranked second in the FIFA rankings, they have never won an
international tournament. In fact, I have liked Belgium ever since I was an active player, and whenever I made predictions for the team’s victory, I always chose Belgium. De Bruyne (Manchester City) is sharp, and I think if he can fit in well in terms of finishing, he can advance to victory. I didn’t know about him until this tournament, but Dodi Lukebakio (Sevilla) is also a very good player. The talent from midfield to forward in Belgium and Portugal is really great.
–Please give a message to the viewers ahead of the final tournament. Even when I look at teams I don’t support, the games are as
interesting as the World Cup. I feel this again through my work. Of course, it’s great to see the plays of world-famous players, but it’s also a tournament where you can discover that such players exist! After the tournament is over, it will be interesting to watch the performances of the players who competed here when the UEFA Champions League (CL) and UEFA Europa League (EL) start. I didn’t watch many Euros during my playing days, so this tournament should be one of my memorable Euros. Everyone, let’s make memories together!
◆◆◆ WOWOW program information ◆◆◆
“UEFA EURO 2024TM European Soccer Championship”
[Image 3:×1500.jpg] Getty Images
・Finals Tournament Best 16
“Switzerland vs Italy” 6/30 (Sun) 0:45 am [WOWOW Prime] [WOWOW On Demand] “Germany vs Denmark” 6/30 (Sunday) 3:45 am [WOWOW Prime] [WOWOW On Demand] “England vs Slovakia” 7/1 (Monday) 0:45 am [WOWOW Prime] [WOWOW On Demand] “Spain vs Georgia” 7/1 (Monday) 3:45 a.m. [WOWOW Prime] [WOWOW On Demand] “France vs Belgium” 7/2 (Tue) 0:45 am [WOWOW Prime] [WOWOW On Demand] “Portugal vs. Slovenia” 7/2 (Tue) 3:45 a.m. [WOWOW Prime] [WOWOW On Demand] “Romania vs Netherlands” 7/3 (Wednesday) 0:45 am [WOWOW Cinema] [WOWOW On Demand]
“Austria vs Türkiye” 7/3 (Wednesday) 3:45 a.m. [WOWOW Prime] [WOWOW On Demand] ・Quarterfinals 7/6 (Sat)/7/7 (Sun) 0:45 a.m.~/3:45 a.m.~
・Semi-finals 7/10 (Wednesday) and 11 (Thursday) 3:45 a.m.
・Finals 7/15 (Monday/Holiday) 3:00am~
■WOWOW On Demand now offers archives of all matches!
■For detailed broadcast and distribution information, please visit the program’s official website!
★Limited time price until 7/15 (Monday/Holiday)! The “Euro 2024 + CL/EL 2024-25 Season Pass” which allows you to enjoy EURO and CL/EL at a great price is also on sale! Click here for details!
-Related information-
▶WOWOW Soccer Official X (old Twitter): @wowow_soccer
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