Homare Sawa is Japan’s most capped player and their most prolific goal scorer, to whom the squad will look to deliver an unlikely win in the FIFA World Cup final against USA, on July 17.
Sawa, 32, began her international career at age 15, in 1993, against the Philippines, a match in which she scored four goals to cement her place, in the side. Her football career began three years before that when, at age 12, Sawa was selected by Yomiuru Beleza, to play in the domestic league.
In 171 international matches for Japan, Sawa has found the rival net on 79 occasions, and she has been in tremendous form in the current world cup as well, having recorded a hattrick in her side’s group match against Mexico.
Sawa has played in all the world cups barring the inaugural one in 1991, and has also represented her country in three Summer Olympic Games.
Currently playing for INAC Kobe Leonessa in the domestic league, in Japan, Sawa has spent most of her club career, playing in the United States. She played for Denver Democrats in 1999, for Atlanta Beat from 2000 to 2002, for NTV Beleza from 2004 to 2009, and represented Washington Freedom, for the next two years, before returning home to play in the domestic Nadeshiko League Division 1.
Her American experience makes Sawa the ideal player to lead the charge against USA in the final, as she has played against most of the American players during her club tenure in the United States between 2000 and 2010.
Her form in this year’s edition of the world cup has been more than encouraging. She scored three goals in the group stage, all three coming in the game against Mexico. Although Sawa did not score a goal in the quarter-finals against Germany, the Japanese skipper’s presence in midfield had a huge impact in a match in which Japan outplayed the defending champions, with their passing and technical finesse.
Sawa was imperious in the semi-finals match against Sweden, in which Japan wrested early control of the midfield after conceding a goal in the 10th minute. Her opportunitic goal in the 60th minute gave Japan the vital lead after Kawasumi had put them level in the first half.
The Japanese skipper is already a legend. If she can lead her side to a historic world cup win against USA, on July 17, she will add a golden chapter to what has been a magnificent career.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.
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