Tokyo, July 25 IANS | 3 months ago

The Japan Football Association (JFA) announced it had appointed former Mexico manager Javier Aguirre to manage the national team and replace Italian Alberto Zaccheroni who resigned following the 'Samurai Blue's' dismal performance at the World Cup finals in Brazil.

Aguirre, 55, who managed Espanyol in the Spanish La Liga last season, will arrive in Japan in the middle of August to assume his management duties, JFA officials said, although the specifics of his contract remain sealed, reports Xinhua.

Nicknamed "El Vasco" (meaning "The Basque" in English), Aguirre succeeded in taking the Mexican national team to the last 16 at both World Cup finals in 2002 and 2010.

Japan this year bowed out in the group stages in Brazil, securing a single point in three disappointing games.

Aguirre, whose professional playing career included 59 appearances for the Mexican national team between 1983 and 1992, will be tasked with retaining Japan's Asian Cup title next year and ensuring the 'Samurai Blue' qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup, to be held in Russia.

His first game at the helm will be in a friendly against reigning Copa America champions Uruguay, who placed 12th in the last 16 at the World Cup finals in Brazil this year.

The match will be played in Sapporo Sep 5 and will be followed by another friendly against Venezuela in Yokohama Sep 9.

(Posted on 25-07-2014)

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