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The Best Soccer Players from Japan

Updated July 21, 2019 5.9k votes 1.2k voters 76.7k views61 items

Ever wonder who the best soccer players from Japan are? This crowd-voted list will help, as it includes the top soccer (or “football”) players from Japan, along with photos when available. This list of best Japanese soccer players is ordered by popularity, so only the greatest players are at the top of the list. If you're searching for a particular famous Japanese soccer player you can use the "search" box to find what you're looking for.

Featuring a variety of top players like Ryuki Kozawa and Seigo Narazaki, this list answers the questions, "Who are the best Japanese footballers?" and "Who is the greatest Japanese soccer player of all time?"

You can click on the names of these popular soccer players of Japan in order to get more information about each one. If you're a sports lover then you can use this list of popular Japanese soccer players to discover some new athletes that you might really enjoy watching. Be sure to vote for your favorite Japanese footballers below, and vote down any players you think should be lower on the list. 

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  • 1
    Hidetoshi Nakata is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    387
    106

    BirthplaceKofu, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Hidetoshi Nakata, Cavaliere OSSI (中田 英寿, Nakata Hidetoshi, born 22 January 1977) is a former... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Shunsuke Nakamura is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    321
    90

    BirthplaceYokohama, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Shunsuke Nakamura (中村 俊輔, Nakamura Shunsuke, born 24 June 1978) is a Japanese professional... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Shinji Kagawa is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    497
    187

    Shinji Kagawa

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceKobe, Keihanshin, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Shinji Kagawa (Japanese: 香川 真司 Kagawa Shinji [kaɡaɰa ɕindʑi]; born 17 March 1989) is a... more on Wikipedia

    More Shinji Kagawa 

    #500 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time#204 of 356 The Best Current Soccer Players

  • 4
    Keisuke Honda is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    396
    161

    Keisuke Honda

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceSettsu, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Keisuke Honda (本田 圭佑, Honda Keisuke, born on 13 June 1986) is a Japanese professional... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Shinji Okazaki is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    193
    80

    Shinji Okazaki

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceTakarazuka, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Shinji Okazaki (岡崎 慎司, Okazaki Shinji, born 16 April 1986) is a Japanese footballer who plays... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Shinji Ono is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    139
    59

    Shinji Ono

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceNumazu, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Shinji Ono (小野 伸二, Ono Shinji, born 27 September 1979) is a Japanese footballer who plays as a... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Yuto Nagatomo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    142
    63

    BirthplaceSaijo, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Yuto Nagatomo (長友 佑都, Nagatomo Yūto, born 12 September 1986) is a Japanese professional... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Makoto Hasebe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    149
    80

    Makoto Hasebe

    Defender, Midfielder

    BirthplaceFujieda, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Makoto Hasebe (長谷部 誠, Hasebe Makoto, born 18 January 1984) is a Japanese footballer. He is a... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Yasuhito Endō is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    118
    56

    Yasuhito Endō

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceKagoshima, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Yasuhito Endō (遠藤 保仁, Endō Yasuhito, born 28 January 1980) is a Japanese footballer, who... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Takefusa Kubo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    42
    14

    Takefusa Kubo

  • 11
    Atsuto Uchida is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    93
    65

    BirthplaceKannami, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Atsuto Uchida (内田 篤人, Uchida Atsuto, born 27 March 1988) is a Japanese professional footballer... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Junichi Inamoto is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    75
    48

    Junichi Inamoto

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceYusui, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Junichi Inamoto (稲本 潤一, Inamoto Jun'ichi, born 18 September 1979) is a Japanese footballer who... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Yuji Nakazawa is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    57
    32

    BirthplaceYoshikawa, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Yuji Nakazawa (中澤 佑二, Nakazawa Yūji, born 25 February 1978 in Yoshikawa, Saitama, Japan) is a... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    60
    43

    BirthplaceFuji, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi (川口 能活, Kawaguchi Yoshikatsu, born 15 August 1975), sometimes referred to... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Paris Nakajima-Farran is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    Paris Yui Nakajima-Farran (中島 勇生, Nakajima Yūi, born 11 August 1989) is a Canadian former... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Daisuke Matsui is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    65
    50

    Daisuke Matsui

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceKyoto, Keihanshin, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Daisuke Matsui (松井 大輔, Matsui Daisuke, 11 May 1981) is a Japanese footballer currently playing... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Kunishige Kamamoto is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan

    BirthplaceKyoto, Keihanshin, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Kunishige Kamamoto (釜本 邦茂, Kamamoto Kunishige, born April 15, 1944) is a former Japanese... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    An Young-Hak is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    45
    28

    An Young-Hak

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceKurashiki, Japan

    NationalityJapan, North Korea

    An Yong-Hak (born 25 October 1978) is a Japanese-born North Korean football midfielder. He is... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Kengo Nakamura is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    53
    39

    Kengo Nakamura

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceKodaira, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Kengo Nakamura (中村 憲剛, Nakamura Kengo, born 31 October 1980) is a Japanese football midfielder... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Koki Mizuno is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    33
    20

    Koki Mizuno

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceShimizu-ku, Shizuoka, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Koki Mizuno (水野 晃樹, Mizuno Kōki, born 6 September 1985) is a Japanese footballer who currently... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Yuki Abe is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    44
    33

    Yuki Abe

    Defender, Midfielder

    BirthplaceIchikawa, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Yuki Abe (阿部 勇樹, Abe Yūki, born 6 September 1981) is a Japanese footballer who has played for... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Seigo Narazaki is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    31
    18

    Seigo Narazaki

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceKashiba, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Seigo Narazaki (楢﨑 正剛, Narazaki Seigō, born 15 April 1976 in Kashiba, Nara) is a retired... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Naohiro Takahara is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    27
    16

    BirthplaceMishima, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Naohiro Takahara (高原 直泰, Takahara Naohiro, born June 4, 1979) is a Japanese professional... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Atsushi Yanagisawa is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan

    BirthplaceKosugi, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Atsushi Yanagisawa (柳沢 敦, Yanagisawa Atsushi, born May 27, 1977) is a former Japanese football... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Kazunori Iio is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
    27
    17

    Kazunori Iio

    Forward

    BirthplaceIwate, Japan

    NationalityJapan

    Kazunori Iio (飯尾 一慶, Iio Kazunori, born February 23, 1982) is a former Japanese football... more on Wikipedia
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