Hulk: Japanese football is much improved
Zenit St. Petersburg striker Hulk has praised the technical development of Japanese football in recent years, following the Samurai Blue's 1-0 victory over France in Paris on Friday.
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Hulk, 26, spent three years in the East Asian country, playing for Kawasaki Frontale, Consadole Sapporo and Tokyo Verdy before joining FC Porto.
Now, having witnessed the rise of football in Japan from both near and afar, including a strong showing at the 2012 Olympic Games, the powerful forward believes they have shed their former 'workmanlike' reputation.
"I know some of the players from my time in Japan. They are quality players," Hulk told Terra.
"Japan were known as a team who just ran a lot. Now, it's not like that. You can see that in their victory over France."
Brazil will take on Japan in Wroclaw on Tuesday night, off the back of their 6-0 victory over Zico's Iraq side. However, as Hulk is well aware, the vibrant Japanese side will provide an entirely different quality of opponent.