The Most Famous

SOCCER PLAYERS from Japan

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This page contains a list of the greatest Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 16,880 Soccer Players, 4,046 of which were born in Japan. This makes Japan the birth place of the most number of Soccer Players.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous Soccer Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Soccer Players.

Photo of Kazuyoshi Miura

1. Kazuyoshi Miura (1967 - )

With an HPI of 63.61, Kazuyoshi Miura is the most famous Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 62 different languages on wikipedia.

Kazuyoshi Miura (三浦 知良, Miura Kazuyoshi, born 26 February 1967), often known simply as Kazu (nicknamed "King Kazu"), is a Japanese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Japan Football League club Suzuka Point Getters on loan from Yokohama FC.He played for the Japan national team from 1990 to 2000, and was the first Japanese recipient of the IFFHS Asia's Footballer of the Year award. Miura, whose rise to fame in Japan coincided with the launch of the J.League in 1993, was arguably Japan's first superstar in football. He is also known for his trademark "Kazu Feint" and his famous "Kazu dance", when he scores great goals or produces great plays. Miura holds the records for being the oldest goalscorer in the J-League, the footballer with the world's longest professional career, and, as of 2022, is the oldest professional footballer in the world at 55. He also holds the possibly unique distinction of having played professional football in five separate decades (1980s–2020s). His elder brother Yasutoshi is also a former professional footballer.

Photo of Kakuichi Mimura

2. Kakuichi Mimura (1931 - 2022)

With an HPI of 63.09, Kakuichi Mimura is the 2nd most famous Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 52 different languages.

Kakuichi Mimura (三村 恪一, Mimura Kakuichi, 16 August 1931 – 19 February 2022) was a Japanese football player and manager. He played for the Japan national team.

Photo of Kunishige Kamamoto

3. Kunishige Kamamoto (1944 - )

With an HPI of 62.42, Kunishige Kamamoto is the 3rd most famous Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 60 different languages.

Kunishige Kamamoto (釜本 邦茂, Kamamoto Kunishige, born April 15, 1944) is a former Japanese football player, manager and politician. He won the bronze medal with the Japan national team at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, finishing as the tournament's top scorer with seven goals, and is the all-time leading goalscorer for Japan. He served as a member of the House of Councillors between 1995 and 2001.

Photo of Ko Arima

4. Ko Arima (1917 - )

With an HPI of 62.03, Ko Arima is the 4th most famous Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Ko Arima (有馬 洪, Arima Kō, born August 22, 1917) is a Japanese former football player. He played for Japan national team.

Photo of Masao Nozawa

5. Masao Nozawa ( - )

With an HPI of 60.65, Masao Nozawa is the 5th most famous Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 51 different languages.

Masao Nozawa (野澤 正雄, Nozawa Masao) was a Japanese football player. He played for Japan national team. His brother Akira Nozawa also played for Japan national team.

Photo of Shunichi Kumai

6. Shunichi Kumai (1910 - )

With an HPI of 59.90, Shunichi Kumai is the 6th most famous Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 52 different languages.

Shunichi Kumai (熊井 俊一, Kumai Shunichi) was a Japanese football player. He played for Japan national team.

Photo of Yozo Aoki

7. Yozo Aoki (1929 - 2014)

With an HPI of 59.45, Yozo Aoki is the 7th most famous Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.

Yozo Aoki (青木 要三, Aoki Yōzō, April 10, 1929 – April 23, 2014) was a Japanese football player. He played for Japan national team.

Photo of Hideo Sakai

8. Hideo Sakai (1909 - 1996)

With an HPI of 59.37, Hideo Sakai is the 8th most famous Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 51 different languages.

Hideo Sakai (堺井 秀雄, Sakai Hideo, June 10, 1909 – June 3, 1996) was a Japanese football player. He played for Japan national team.

Photo of Hiroaki Sato

9. Hiroaki Sato (1932 - 1988)

With an HPI of 59.15, Hiroaki Sato is the 9th most famous Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 51 different languages.

Hiroaki Sato (佐藤 弘明, Satō Hiroaki, February 5, 1932 – January 1, 1988) was a Japanese football player. He played for Japan national team.

Photo of Toshio Iwatani

10. Toshio Iwatani (1925 - 1970)

With an HPI of 59.06, Toshio Iwatani is the 10th most famous Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Toshio Iwatani (岩谷 俊夫, Iwatani Toshio, October 24, 1925 – March 1, 1970) was a Japanese football player. He played for Japan national team.

Pantheon has 4,206 people classified as soccer players born between 1891 and 2003. Of these 4,206, 4,101 (97.50%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include Kazuyoshi Miura, Kunishige Kamamoto, and Ko Arima. The most famous deceased soccer players include Kakuichi Mimura, Yozo Aoki, and Hideo Sakai. As of April 2022, 160 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Kaoru Mitoma, Reo Hatate, and Bin Ukishima.

Living Soccer Players

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Deceased Soccer Players

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Newly Added Soccer Players (2022)

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Which Soccer Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Soccer Players since 1700.