More on Maki...
Well, he is the hot news right now, and the new star of Japanese football.
The good news for JEF fans is that the team can win without him, as they proved in a recent 1-0 victory over a plucky S-Pulse in the Nabisco Cup.
Of course they missed his pace and his presence up front, but JEF came through in the end to win the match and the group.
After the game I took the opportunity to ask the opinion of Maki's strike partner, "Super Mario" Haas.
The Austrian has been as impressed as anyone with Maki's rapid progress, saying: "He gets better match by match -- and it is right that Zico has picked him for the World Cup."
With Maki's rise, it will be only a matter of time before he is linked with a move to Europe -- and Haas thinks there is a league just waiting for him to make his mark.
"I think English football suits Maki's style -- and Maki's style would suit England," said Haas.
"Maki is good at heading and running, and in the English game it's always long balls and lots of crosses."
I asked if Maki would struggle against the likes of Chelsea's England defender John Terry, and Maki replied: "Well, if the fight is close-in, it would be very hard for Maki.
"But if Maki runs with the ball, with his speed even these players have no chance."
These are words of praise indeed from Haas, who has displayed all his elegant skills in the J.League when fully fit.
JEF fans will be hoping that Haas now stays clear of injury for the rest of the campaign, because, with Maki alongside him, United would have the attacking spearhead to challenge for the championship.
The national team is now in Germany, of course, and the midfield and attack looks vibrant and powerful enough to trouble their rivals.
But I still feel the defence is a bit lightweight, and would like to have seen Matsuda on the plane, and possibly even Tulio -- if Zico had given him a chance.
The fact that Zico looks like playing a 3-5-2 formation will help Japan, as a 4-4-2 would have exposed the defensive deficiencies and highlighted the lack of muscle in the middle.
But with Miyamoto running the line from libero, and with the height of Nakazawa and the speed of Tsuboi alongside, the defence does not look quite as vulnerable as in a 4-4-2 formation.
But the central midfield duo of Fukunishi and Hidetoshi Nakata will have to tackle their hearts out to protect the defence, and Kaji and Alex will have to run like marathon athletes to secure the flanks.