Currently plying his trade for AC Milan in Italian Serie A, Keisuke Honda is one of the most talented players in the Japan squad and they will be relying on his individual brilliance to help their cause in Group C. A dead ball specialist with dribbling skills and the ability to go past a man will make Honda a popular choice among punters during the World Cup.
Born on 13 June 1986 in Osaka, Honda played for youth sides Settsu FC, Gamba Osaka and Seiryo High School before joining Nagoya Grampus as a senior player in 2005.
In 2008 Honda signed a two and half-year deal with Dutch Eredivisie side VVV-Venlo where he had mixed fortunes as they were relegated just six months after he joined. However Honda was instrumental in their promotion back to the top flight with 16 goals in 36 league appearances and was soon snapped up by CSKA Moscow where he won a Russian Premier League title, two Russian Cups and a Russian Super Cup.
After 94 appearances and 24 goals for CSKA Moscow, Honda requested permission to talk to other clubs and moved to Italian giants AC Milan on a free transfer in Janury 2014 where he has looked the part playing at the top level of the game.
He made a full international debut for Japan on 22 June 2008 in a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Bahrain and has gone on to score 20 goals in 52 appearances for his country. Honda was the star of Japan's World Cup 2010 campaign after scoring the winner with a Man of the Match performance against Cameroon, before he fired in a free-kick and set up a goal with another dazzling display against Denmark to help his side to the last 16.
Keisuke Honda World Cup Betting Tips
With a good goals to games ratio for his country, Keisuke Honda should be considered in any staking plans for First Goalscorer and Anytime Goalscorer bets on games involving Japan. He was a key player for Blue Samurai in South Africa four years ago and will be first in line for any free-kicks which come their way in Brazil.
Honda impressed when Japan were narrowly beaten 4-3 by Italy in the 2013 Confederations Cup and was on the score-sheet when they recorded a shock 3-2 victory over Belgium in November, so looks more than capable of topping the scoring charts for his country at the World Cup.