Alessandro Santos

"Alex dos Santos" redirects here. For other uses, see Alex dos Santos (disambiguation).
This article is about the Japanese midfielder known as "Alex". For the Coritiba attacking midfielder and Fenerbahçe idol, see Alexsandro de Souza. For the A.C. Milan and former Chelsea central defender, see Alex Rodrigo Dias da Costa.
Alessandro Santos
Personal information
Full name Alessandro Santos
Date of birth (1977-07-20) July 20, 1977
Place of birth Maringá, Paraná, Brazil
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2003 Shimizu S-Pulse 198 (56)
2004–2009 Urawa Reds 100 (11)
2007Red Bull Salzburg (loan) 20 (1)
2009–2012 Nagoya Grampus 55 (0)
2013 Tochigi SC 25 (2)
2014 FC Gifu 18 (2)
2015 Maringá
2015 Grêmio Maringá
2016– PSTC
Total 416 (72)
National team
2002–2006 Japan 82 (7)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of December 31, 2015.

Alessandro Santos (三都主 アレサンドロ Santosu Aresandoro, born July 20, 1977), formerly Alessandro dos Santos and often known as Alex, is a Japanese football player who is born in Brazil. He played for Japan national team.


He was born in Maringá in Paraná, and moved to Japan in 1994 at the age of sixteen. He enrolled in Meitoku Gijuku High School in Kōchi and played football for the school club. After graduating from the school, he joined the J1 League team Shimizu S-Pulse in 1997. In 1999, he received the J.League Player of the Year.[1]

In 2001, he obtained Japanese citizenship. He made his first appearance for Japan national team on March 21, 2002 against Ukraine,[2] and he was part of Philippe Troussier's selection for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He was the second foreign-born person to play for Japan in the World Cup finals after Wagner Lopes, who played in the 1998 World Cup and also the fifth naturalized citizen to play for Japan after Daishiro Yoshimura, George Yonashiro, Ruy Ramos, and Lopes.

In August 2002, Alex agreed to join English Premier League club Charlton Athletic. But he was denied a work permit by the Home Office because he had not made the minimum number of national team appearances required for players from outside the European Union and returned to Shimizu for the remainder of the season.[3] In January 2004, he left Shimizu to join the Urawa Red Diamonds.

Since Zico took over as the national team manager, Alex was a constant on the left side of the Japanese lineup, as a fullback in 4-4-2 formation or midfielder in 3-5-2 formation, and was selected to Japan's 2006 World Cup squad in May 2006, providing an assist for Keiji Tamada in a group stage match against his former country Brazil.

In January 2007, Alex was loaned out to Red Bull Salzburg.[4] He went back to Urawa in January 2008. He received a serious injury in a test match and had only one appearance in this season. In July 2009, he agreed to move to Nagoya Grampus.[5] He made 55 appearances for the club, before joining J2 League side Tochigi SC for the 2013 season. He made 25 appearances there, scoring twice. In January 2014, he joined fellow J2 League team FC Gifu.

Club statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Japan League Emperor's Cup League Cup Asia Total
1997Shimizu S-PulseJ1 League2733021-324
2004Urawa RedsJ1 League2722110-303
Austria League Austrian Cup League Cup Europe Total
2006-07Red Bull SalzburgBundesliga90---90
Japan League Emperor's Cup League Cup Asia Total
2008Urawa RedsJ1 League10---10
Nagoya Grampus14061-40241
2013Tochigi SCJ2 League25220--272
2014FC Gifu18200--182
Total Japan 39671511036413349688
Austria 201--10211
Career total 41672511036414351789

National team statistics


Japan national team

Appearances in Major Competitions

Year Competition Category Appearances Goals Team Record
Start Sub
20022002 FIFA World CupSenior110Round of 16
20032003 FIFA Confederations CupSenior300Round 1
20042004 AFC Asian CupSenior600Champion
20052005 FIFA Confederations CupSenior300Round 1
2004–20052006 FIFA World Cup qualificationSenior910Qualified
20062006 FIFA World CupSenior300Round 1
20062007 AFC Asian Cup qualificationSenior600Qualified

Goals for national team

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. May 2, 2002 Kobe, Japan  Honduras 3-3 Drew Friendly
2. December 7, 2003 Saitama, Japan  Hong Kong 1-0 Won East Asian Football Championship 2003
3. February 12, 2004 Tokyo, Japan  Iraq 2-0 Won Friendly
4. May 30, 2004 Manchester, England  Iceland 3-2 Won Friendly
5. January 29, 2005 Yokohama, Japan  Kazakhstan 4-0 Won Friendly
6. August 9, 2006 Tokyo, Japan  Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 Won Friendly
7. August 9, 2006 Tokyo, Japan  Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 Won Friendly


Individual Honors

Team Honors

Personal life

He is married to a Japanese woman from Shizuoka and has a son.


  1. "Alex: Dreadlocks in deadlock at S-Pulse". The Japan Times. 30 November 2000. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  2. "SANTOS Alessandro". Japan National Football Team Database.
  3. Charlton miss out on Alex, BBC, 28 August 2002
  4. Japan's Alex to join Miyamoto at Salzburg, December 21, 2006
  5. 名古屋が三都主獲り、大型補強第3弾, Nikkan sport, July 26, 2009
  6. RSSSF

External links

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