Soccer Players The Best Soccer Players from Japan  

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4.5k votes 849 voters 58k views 60 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. 

list ordered by

1
372 122
Shinji Kagawa is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Midfielder
Shinji Kagawa is a Japanese professional footballer who plays for German club Borussia Dortmund and the Japan national team. Kagawa began his professional career in his homeland with Cerezo ...more

2
342 112
Keisuke Honda is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Midfielder
Keisuke Honda is a Japanese footballer who plays for Serie A club Milan and the Japan national football team. He plays as an attacking midfielder, but he can equally play as a second striker or ...more

3
239 77
Hidetoshi Nakata is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Midfielder
Hidetoshi Nakata, Cavaliere OSSI, is a retired Japanese football player. He was considered one of the most famous Asian footballers of his generation. Nakata began his professional career in ...more

4
210 67
Shunsuke Nakamura is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Midfielder
Shunsuke Nakamura is a Japanese professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Yokohama F. Marinos in J. League Division 1. He is the first and only player to have been twice ...more

5
150 70
Shinji Okazaki is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Forward, Midfielder
שינג'י אוקזאקי הוא שחקן כדורגל יפני.

6
110 57
Makoto Hasebe is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Makoto Hasebe Defender, Midfielder
Makoto Hasebe is a Japanese footballer. He is a defensive midfielder who plays for Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt and is the captain of the Japan national football team.

7
85 42
Shinji Ono is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Midfielder
Shinji Ono is a Japanese footballer who plays as a midfielder for J2 League club Consadole Sapporo. Known as Tensai, Ono is one of the biggest stars in Asian football, known for his vision, ...more

8
84 45
Yuto Nagatomo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Defender
Yuto Nagatomo is a Japanese footballer who plays as a defender for Serie A club Internazionale.

9
85 48
Yasuhito Endō is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Midfielder
Yasuhito Endō is a Japanese footballer, who currently plays for the J. League team Gamba Osaka. His older brother Akihiro, who retired in 2008, is also a former professional footballer, and was ...more

10
74 50
Atsuto Uchida is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Defender
Atsuto Uchida is a Japanese professional footballer, who plays for FC Schalke 04 and the Japan national football team as a right back.

11
52 35
Daisuke Matsui is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Midfielder
Daisuke Matsui is a Japanese footballer currently playing for Júbilo Iwata. He has previously played for Kyoto Purple Sanga, Le Mans FC, AS Saint-Etienne, FC Tom Tomsk, Dijon, Slavia ...more

12
53 36
Junichi Inamoto is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Midfielder
Junichi Inamoto is a Japanese footballer who plays as a midfielder for Consadole Sapporo.

13
43 28
Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Goalkeeper
Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi, sometimes referred to as Yoshi Kawaguchi, is a Japanese footballer who plays as a goalkeeper. He is a former captain of the Japan national team. Current, he plays in FC ...more

14
32 20
Kunishige Kamamoto is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Forward
Kunishige Kamamoto is a former association football player from Japan, who won the bronze medal with the Japan national team at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico, finishing as the ...more

15
34 23
Yuji Nakazawa is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Defender
Yuji Nakazawa is a Japanese football player who currently plays for J. League side Yokohama F. Marinos. He is a centre back. He is captain of Yokohama F. Marinos and was the previous captain of ...more

16
37 28
Takashi Usami is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Takashi Usami Forward, Midfielder
Takashi Usami is a Japanese footballer who plays for Gamba Osaka. He plays as an attacking midfielder, second striker or winger.

17
32 24
Kengo Nakamura is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Kengo Nakamura Midfielder
Kengo Nakamura is a Japanese football midfielder who currently plays for Kawasaki Frontale of the J. League.

18
23 15
Naohiro Ishikawa is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Midfielder
Naohiro Ishikawa is a Japanese footballer who plays for F.C. Tokyo. He was part of the Japanese 2004 Olympic football team, who exited in the first round, having finished fourth in group B, ...more

19
38 31
Hajime Hosogai is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Defender, Midfielder
Hajime Hosogai is a Japanese footballer. He is a flexible player, able to play in his natural role as defender, defensive midfielder, and plays for Bundesliga side Hertha BSC.

20
33 26
Yuki Abe is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Defender, Midfielder
Yuki Abe is a Japanese footballer who plays for the Japanese national team and Urawa Red Diamonds as a midfielder.

21
15 9
Kōji Morisaki is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Kōji Morisaki Midfielder
Kōji Morisaki is a Japanese football player who currently plays for Sanfrecce Hiroshima of the J-League. He is a twin brother of Kazuyuki Morisaki. He was part of the Japanese 2004 Olympic ...more

22
21 16
Ryoichi Maeda is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Ryoichi Maeda Forward
Ryoichi Maeda is a Japanese footballer who plays as a striker for FC Tokyo of the J. League Division 1.

23
26 22
Yoshito Ōkubo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Forward
Yoshito Ōkubo is a Japanese football player, he is a forward and currently plays for Kawasaki Frontale.

24
15 11
Naohiro Takahara is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Forward
Naohiro Takahara is a Japanese footballer. He currently plays for SC Sagamihara as a striker. Takahara was born in Mishima, Shizuoka. He has previously played for Júbilo Iwata in Japan, ...more

25
14 10
Yūichi Komano is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Japan
Defender, Midfielder
Yūichi Komano is a Japanese football player. He plays for J. League division 1 side Júbilo Iwata. He is right-footed and mainly plays right full back for the club but he is often employed ...more