Yuji Nakazawa

Yuji Nakazawa

Nakazawa playing for Japan in 2008
Personal information
Full name Yuji Nakazawa[1]
Date of birth (1978-02-25) 25 February 1978
Place of birth Yoshikawa, Saitama, Japan
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1 12 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Yokohama F. Marinos
Number 22
Youth career
1996–1997 América
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2001 Tokyo Verdy 83 (5)
2002– Yokohama F. Marinos 420 (26)
National team
1999–2000 Japan U-23 12 (0)
1999–2010[2] Japan 110 (17)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19 February 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Yuji Nakazawa (中澤 佑二 Nakazawa Yūji, born 25 February 1978 in Yoshikawa, Saitama, Japan) is a Japanese football player who currently plays for J.League side Yokohama F. Marinos.[3] He is a centre back. He is captain of Yokohama F. Marinos and was the previous captain of the Japan national football team. His nickname is "Bomber" because of his distinctive hairstyle. Nakazawa is one of only four Japanese players to reach 100 caps for his country.


Nakazawa started playing football for his home country. He played for Yoshikawa Higashi Junior High School and Misato Technology High School, but attracted no scouts' eyes. Determined to be a pro, he left for Brazil to improve his football skills and trained with América Mineiro. During his time there, he won the Campeonato Mineiro in the junior category and played a key role in coach Ricardo Drubscky's squad.

After a year, he returned to Japan and joined Verdy Kawasaki in 1998 as a trainee, which meant he received no compensation. He impressed the club enough to win a full professional contract the following year.

His first J.League appearance came on 13 March 1999 against Cerezo Osaka at Todoroki Athletics Stadium. He scored his first league goal on 10 April 1999 against Nagoya Grampus Eight also at Todoroki. That year, he received the J-League Young Player of the Year award and was selected for the J-League Team of the Year.

Philippe Troussier called him up for Japan's national team. Nakazawa played in Olympic qualifiers as well as the finals in Sydney. Troussier promoted him to a full international. His first international appearance came on 8 September 1999 in a friendly against Iran at the International Stadium Yokohama.[2] He scored his first goal on 13 February 2000 in an Asian Cup qualifier against Singapore in Macau.[2]

He was a member of the Japan team who won the 2000 AFC Asian Cup in Lebanon.[2] He played 3 games in the competition.[2] However, he was not selected for the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals as Yutaka Akita was preferred.

He was transferred to Yokohama F. Marinos in 2002 and contributed to the club winning two consecutive J.League championships in 2003 and 2004.[4] He was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the league in 2004.[5]

Under new national manager Zico, he partnered with Tsuneyasu Miyamoto at the back line. He participated in the 2004 AFC Asian Cup finals.[2] He played in all the Japan matches and scored 3 goals, one of which was a stoppage time equaliser in the semi-final against Bahrain, and Japan went on to win the title again.

He also played in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany but the team failed to proceed to the knockout stage. After the tournament, he announced his retirement from the international football at the age of 28.[6] However, six months later, he withdrew his decision and Ivica Osim played him in a friendly against Peru on 24 March 2007.[7]

He played in the 2007 AFC Asian Cup finals but this time the team failed to defend the title and finished 4th in the tournament.

On 14 February 2010 Nakazawa made his 100th appearance for the Japan national team against South Korea in the final match of the 2010 East Asian Football Championship at Tokyo's National Stadium. Nakazawa becomes only the third Japanese player, following Masami Ihara and Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi, to reach 100 caps for his country. Later that year, Yasuhito Endō also reached 100 caps for Japan.

On 30 May 2010 Nakazawa scored an own-goal in a friendly match against England to give England the lead; his defensive partner Tulio had already scored an own goal to draw England level with Japan. The match ended 2–1 to England.

In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Nakazawa played all 4 of Japan's games on their way to the round of 16 and knockout by penalties to Paraguay. He played some of the best football of his entire career and, alongside Marcus Tulio Tanaka, was the heart of defence.

National team

Personal honors

Team honours

Yokohama F. Marinos

Japan NT

Career statistics

As of 19 February 2016
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Japan League Emperor's Cup League Cup Asia Other1 Total
1999Verdy Kawasaki
/Tokyo Verdy 1969
J1 League2813120--332
2002Yokohama F. Marinos2712000--291
Career total 503313635541105059438

1Includes Japanese Super Cup and J.League Championship.


Japan national team

National team career statistics

Appearances in major competitions

Team Competition Category Appearances Goals Team Record
Start Sub
 Japan2000 Summer OlympicsU-23400Quarterfinals
 Japan2000 AFC Asian CupSenior300Champions
 Japan2004 AFC Asian CupSenior603Champions
 Japan2006 FIFA World CupSenior300Round 1
 Japan2007 AFC Asian CupSenior6014th Place
 Japan2010 FIFA World CupSenior400Round of 16

Goals for national team


# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 13 Feb 2000 Macau, China  Singapore 3–0 Won 2000 AFC Asian Cup qualification
2. 13 Feb 2000 Macau, China  Singapore 3–0 Won 2000 AFC Asian Cup qualification
3. 9 Jun 2004 Saitama, Japan  India 7–0 Won 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
4. 9 Jun 2004 Saitama, Japan  India 7–0 Won 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
5. 24 Jul 2004 Chongqing, China  Thailand 4–1 Won 2004 AFC Asian Cup group stage
6. 24 Jul 2004 Chongqing, China  Thailand 4–1 Won 2004 AFC Asian Cup group stage
7. 3 Aug 2004 Jinan, China  Bahrain 4–3 Won 2004 AFC Asian Cup semifinals
8. 7 Aug 2005 Daegu, Korea Republic  South Korea 1–0 Won 2005 East Asian Football Championship
9. 10 Feb 2006 San Francisco, United States  United States 2–3 Lost Friendly match
10. 1 Jun 2007 Fukuroi, Japan  Montenegro 2–0 Won 2007 Kirin Cup
11. 25 Jul 2007 Hanoi, Vietnam  Saudi Arabia 2–3 Lost 2007 AFC Asian Cup semifinals
12. 28 Jan 2008 Tokyo, Japan  Bosnia and Herzegovina 3–0 Won Friendly Match
13. 6 Feb 2008 Saitama, Japan  Thailand 4–1 Won 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
14. 2 Jun 2008 Yokohama, Japan  Oman 3–0 Won 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
15. 14 Jun 2008 Bangkok, Thailand  Thailand 3–0 Won 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
16. 4 Feb 2009 Tokyo, Japan  Finland 5–1 Won Friendly Match
17. 8 Oct 2009 Shizuoka, Japan  Hong Kong 6–0 Won 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification

See also


External links

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