Miyama We are still not in our best form yet
Aya Miyama is the perfect embodiment of Japan's values and culture. A technically-gifted and efficient ball-playing midfielder, the Nadeshiko captain is also a reserved and dignified leader off the field.A two-time Asian Footballer of the Year, Miyama was the perfect counterpoint to superstar Homare Sawa in Japan's unexpected run to the FIFA Women's World Cup crown in 2011. Now Miyama is perhaps the team's most pivotal player thanks to her set-piece delivery and midfield scheming. FIFA.com spoke to Miyama ahead of Japan's mouth-watering quarter-final against old rivals Australia to hear about Japan's form, the pressure that comes with being world champions and more.
FIFA.com: Aya, have Japan found their best form in the tournament yet?
Aya Miyama: I think we are not in the best form yet I should say 60 per cent after we've played the Round of 16. We could show our concentration and ability to play and keep in step with each other on the pitch, and I think these are getting better, but it also must be noted that Netherlands did not come to eliminate our strengths.
Are the Nadeshiko better than four years ago?
I think we are better, as the empirical value of each of the players is higher and we also now have spent a lot of time together with the same group of players. It means we know each other's game even more. I think this is a great advantage, especially when we are in the knockout stage, where we will have close games and a strong mentality is needed. I believe our players can maintain the strong motivation which is something we've gained by experience.
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