Tadanari Lee

Tadanari Lee
Personal information
Date of birth (1985-12-19) 19 December 1985
Place of birth Nishitōkyō, Tokyo, Japan
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Urawa Red Diamonds
Number 20
Youth career
Komine FC
1998–2000 Yokogawa Musashino
2000–2004 FC Tokyo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2005 FC Tokyo 0 (0)
2005–2009 Kashiwa Reysol 108 (24)
2009–2012 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 70 (26)
2012–2014 Southampton 7 (1)
2013FC Tokyo (loan) 13 (4)
2014– Urawa Red Diamonds 54 (8)
National team
2007–2008 Japan U-23 12 (4)
2011–2012 Japan 11 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 February 2016 (UTC).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 February 2012
Tadanari Lee
Hangul 이충성
Revised Romanization I Chung-seong
McCune–Reischauer Yi Ch'ungsŏng
Japanese name:
Ri Tadanari ()

Tadanari Lee (李 忠成 Ri Tadanari, born 19 December 1985) is a Japanese football player of Korean descent who plays for Urawa Red Diamonds.[1] He is sometimes known as "Chung".[2]


Lee was born to third generation Zainichi Korean parents in Tanashi (present: Nishitokyo), Tokyo. His Korean name is Lee Chung-Sung (Korean: 이충성, Hanja: 李 忠成) and also had used pass name Tadanari Ōyama (大山 忠成 Ōyama Tadanari).[3] His father was also a footballer, who played for Yokohama Tristar FC in the Japan Soccer League.

Football career


Lee started playing football at Komine FC and later moved to Yokogawa Musashino F.C.. In 2001 he joined FC Tokyo youth team and took second places at All Japan Club Youth Soccer tournament, Prince Takamado Cup and J. League Youth tournament. He briefly joined training squads for the South Korea U-19 and U-20 teams but not played at official games. He experienced severe discrimination from Korean teammates referring to him as a “half-Jap” with strong racial undertones.[4][5]

He was promoted to FC Tokyo in 2004 and moved to Kashiwa Reysol in 2005 and later joined Sanfrecce Hiroshima in 2009.[6]

Lee competed for Japan at the 2008 Summer Olympics finals.[7] After becoming a regular starter for Sanfrecce and finishing the 2010 season strongly, Lee was rewarded with a call-up to Japan's Asian Cup squad and made his full international debut on 9 January 2011 against Jordan.[8] His first international goal was dramatic, coming as it did in the 109th minute of the final to secure a 1–0 win over Australia and Japan's fourth Asian Cup success.[9]


On 11 January 2012, Lee secured a work permit to allow him to play for Southampton, who confirmed the free transfer on 25 January 2012.[10]

He made his debut for Southampton on 28 January 2012, as a substitute in a fourth round FA Cup match against Millwall.[11] Lee started and played the duration of the replay, failing to score as Milwall won 3–2 after a 92nd-minute winner from Liam Feeney.

He scored his first goal for Southampton in a 4–0 victory over Derby County on 18 February, with a "venomous strike into the far corner" of the goal.[12] He made his first league start one week later, a 3–0 victory away at Watford, with Lee winning a penalty for the third goal from Rickie Lambert. He has not played since 10 March 2012, after damaging ligaments and missing the rest of the season.[13]

His goal won the Southampton's Goal of the Season Award.

After 5 months out injured, he made his return to action with a goal in a 4–1 victory at Stevenage in the League Cup.

He was handed the number 19 shirt for the 2013–14 season after Southampton invited him back to the First Team. He made his first return to the Southampton team after year when starting in the League Cup against Bristol City.

On 14 January 2014 he was released from his contract at Southampton after a two-year spell.[14][15]

Return to Japan

On 14 February 2013, Lee returned to his former club, FC Tokyo on loan until the end of June.[16] He made his debut on 2 March 2013, coming on as a 72nd-minute substitutee. He scored his first goal for the club on 23 March 2013 in the 77th minute against two-time defending champion Kashima Antlers.[17]

Career statistics

As of 20 August 2016[18][19]
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2004F.C. TokyoJ1 League00---00
2005Kashiwa Reysol80-30-110
2006J2 League318---318
2007J1 League30101050-3610
Sanfrecce Hiroshima8020--100
2012–13Premier League001021-31
2013F.C. TokyoJ1 League134-62-196
2013–14SouthamptonPremier League000020-20
2014Urawa Red DiamondsJ1 League306008300389
Country Japan 27270112381116533588
Country England 713041-142
Career total 27971142421216534990
Japan national team

International career statistics

Appearances in major competitions

Team Competition Category Appearances Goals Team Record
Start Sub
 Japan2008 Summer Olympics qualificationU-22724Qualified
 Japan2008 Summer OlympicsU-23120Round 1
 Japan2011 AFC Asian CupSenior021Champion

Goals for senior national team

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 29 January 2011 Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar  Australia 0–1 0–1 2011 AFC Asian Cup Final
2. 7 October 2011 Kobe Wing Stadium, Kobe, Japan  Vietnam 1–0 1–0 International Friendly



Sanfrecce Hiroshima[20]




  1. "Lee joins Urawa after leaving Southampton". The Japan Times. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  2. "Gaffer Thrilled With 'Exceptional' Goals". Southampton FC. 18 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  3. 五輪ピッチに「新日本人」…在日のルーツと誇り胸に
  4. "Lee wants a crack at Korea in AFC Asian Cup Qatar". JoongAng Ilbo. 10 January 2011.
  5. "'반쪽발이가 여긴 왜 왔느냐'는 말에 한국대표 꿈 접은 이충성" ['Why did half-Jap come here in Korea?' lost dream of a Korean national team member]. Chosun Ilbo. January 30, 2011.
  6. "BRIEF-Soccer-Japan under-23 striker Lee joins Hiroshima". Reuters. 26 August 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
  7. "Tadanari Ri Biography and Statistics". Sports Reference. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
  8. "Zaccheroni names Asian Cup squad". FIFA.com. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  9. "Australia 0 – 1 Japan". ESPN Soccernet. 29 January 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  10. Tadanari Lee secures work permit (From Daily Echo)
  11. "Millwall 1 – 1 Southampton". BBC Sport. 28 January 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  12. "Southampton vs Derby County". Southampton FC. 18 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  13. "Striker Tadanari Lee misses rest of season". BBC Sport. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  14. "Lee departs". Southampton F.C. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  15. "Tadanari Lee: Japan striker released by Southampton". BBC Sport. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  16. "Chung Makes Japan Return". Southampton FC. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  17. Lee guides FC Tokyo past Antlers | The Japan Times
  18. Nippon Sports Kikaku Publishing inc./日本スポーツ企画出版社, "2016J1&J2&J3選手名鑑", 10 February 2016, Japan, ISBN 978-4905411338 (p. 29 out of 289)
  19. Soccerway profile
  20. 1 2 3 "Japan - T. Lee - Trophies". Soccerway. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
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