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In Japan's defeat of Germany at World Cup, students become masters

Samurai Blue outshine country that inspired how soccer is played at home

Members of Japan's national team celebrate their victory against Germany. (Photo by Tomoki Mera)

TOKYO -- Japan's win against Germany at the World Cup was not just a major upset, but a victory over a team that the Japanese soccer world had aspired to and modeled itself after for decades.

Two countries have heavily influenced Japanese soccer over the years. The first is Brazil -- home to Pele, the "king of soccer" -- which has sent numerous players to Japanese pitches since before the professional J.League was founded in 1993.

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