Japan coach Zico believes that Japan are capable of reaching the semi-finals at the World Cup finals in Germany.

“We are 18th in the FIFA world rankings but I think we are better than that and can beat anyone on our day,” Zico said Monday in an interview with Kicker magazine.

“We could reach the semi-finals but beating Australia in our first game could be crucial.”

Japan face Australia on June 12 in Kaiserslautern, Croatia and finally a clash with Zico’s homeland Brazil.

The Brazilian believes he has improved team over the past four years.

“In 2002 we missed that extra physical ingredient. Japan would not have gone out at the last 16 stage if they had that.

“I needed to alter the Japanese mentality and make the players more aggressive.

“I have done this and given the players more freedom to express themselves.”

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