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Aguirre targets World Cup qualification

Javier Aguirre is relishing the “massive challenge” of taking over as Japan coach and set his sights on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

The 55-year-old Mexican opted to return to international football as head coach of Japan last month after leaving La Liga side Espanyol in May.

Aguirre revealed he rejected opportunities to remain in Spain in order to replace Alberto Zaccheroni and the former Mexico coach is determined to guide the Asian nation to the World Cup in Russia in four years’ time.

Speakling at a press conference in Tokyo on Monday, he said: “Japan is a country that has a lot of fantastic players and I am happy to be the coach. I absolutely want to get the team to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“For me, accepting this job is a massive challenge and I will be learning every day and will do my best.”

The experienced Aguirre also revealed that it was the second time he had been offered the Japan job and did not hesitate to take the opportunity on this occasion.

“I had other offers from teams in the Spanish League and other countries.” he added.

“But the reason I chose Japan is because (JFA technical director Hiromi) Hara-san came calling after the South Africa World Cup and has been monitoring my work since then.”

Aguirre takes over a Japan side that finished bottom of Group C in the World Cup in Brazil after claiming only one point from their three matches.

Mon 11 August, 2014
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