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The experienced defender is eager to shine at the 2010 World Cup...

At the age of 28, Japanese defender Tulio Tanaka has yet to make his first appearance at a World Cup. The highly rated centre-back is widely expected to make it into Japan's World Cup squad for South Africa though, and he's determined to make the most of this summer's tournament.

"I don't want the World Cup to be like food that I can't remember the taste of. It would be fantastic if our hard work from the World Cup tastes like strawberries, but there is also a possibility it could taste nasty," Tanaka said to Kyodo.

"Even if we get hammered and it is not a nice feeling, I want to feel it completely in my body. I don't want to come back home wondering maybe if I could have given a bit more.

"Maybe I won't have another chance to play at the World Cup and I just want my whole body to react when someone mentions the tournament in 70 years time, if I'm still alive then."

The experienced defender also took the time to discuss his side's ambition to reach the semi-finals in South Africa.

"To be honest, I also thought 'what?' at first, but we have played against a number of strong opponents and I see no reason why we can't achieve that."

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