Atsuto Uchida

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Atsuto Uchida
内田篤人
Uchida Schalke 2015.jpg
Uchida training with Schalke 04 in 2015
Personal information
Full name Atsuto Uchida[1]
Date of birth (1988-03-27) 27 March 1988 (age 31)
Place of birth Kannami, Shizuoka, Japan
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)[2]
Playing position Right-back
Club information
Current team
Kashima Antlers
Number 2
Youth career
2003–2005 Shimizu Higashi High School
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2010 Kashima Antlers 124 (3)
2010–2017 Schalke 04 104 (1)
2017–2018 Union Berlin 2 (0)
2018– Kashima Antlers 16 (0)
National team
2005–2007 Japan U20 12 (0)
2007–2008 Japan U23 8 (0)
2008–2015 Japan 74 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2 December 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 31 March 2015

Atsuto Uchida (内田 篤人, Uchida Atsuto, born 27 March 1988) is a Japanese professional footballer who plays for J1 League club Kashima Antlers and the Japan national football team as a right-back.

Club career[edit]

Early career in Japan[edit]

Uchida was educated at and played for Shimizu Higashi High School prior to joining the Kashima Antlers in 2006.[3][4] On 5 March 2006, Uchida began his professional career when he debuted for Kashima at the age of 17 in the season-opener against Sanfrecce Hiroshima, since which he has remained a fixture in the starting eleven.[5]

His first goal as a professional footballer came on 21 March 2006 when he scored against Ventforet Kofu. He was also selected by popular vote to play in the 2006 J. League All-Star Soccer game. In the final of the Emperor Cup, Uchida scored the opener in a 2–0 win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima to win the cup.[6] Over the next two seasons, Uchida established himself in the starting eleven for the side.

In the 2008 season, Uchida continued to remain in the first team until he suffered an injury that kept him out for between 2 to 3 weeks.[7] After returning, he quickly began playing in the receiver role later in the season.[8] In a 1–0 win over Oita Trinita on 23 November 2008, Uchida played a vital role when he scored the winning goal to help the side win the league for the second time.[9] At the end of the 2008 season, where he made 34 appearances and scoring once in all competitions, Uchida was named J. League Best Eleven for the first time.[10][11] In addition, Uchida signed a contract extension, keeping him until 2012.[12]

In the 2009 season, Uchida started the season well when he set up a goal for Marquinhos, in a 2–0 win over Urawa Red Diamonds.[13] A month later, he scored his first goal of the season, in a 4–1 win over Warriors in the AFC Champions League campaign.[14] His performance half way through the season attracted interests from an unknown Serie A clubs, who made a 3 million euros bid.[15] On the last game of the season, Uchida set up a goal for Shinzo Koroki to score the only goal in the game, in a 1–0 win over Urawa Red Diamonds to win the league for the third time running.[16] At the end of the 2009, Uchida was named J. League Best Eleven for the second time.[17] In addition, he went on to make the total of 43 appearances and scoring once for the side.

In the 2010 season, Uchida continued to feature in the first team in the right–back position for the side, as the club continued to remain in a good form.[18] On 30 March 2010, he scored his first goal of the season, in a 3–1 win over Persipura Jayapura.[19] After suffering a knee injury,[20] he made his return from injury on 5 May 2010, in a 2–1 loss against Cerezo Osaka, in what turns out to be his last appearance for the club.[21]

Schalke 04[edit]

Uchida training for Schalke 04 in his first season.

On 13 June 2010, German club Schalke 04 announced that they had signed the Japanese international to a three-year contract for €1.3 million.[22] It came after when they sold Rafinha to Genoa.[23]

Uchida made his Schalke 04 debut, where he played the whole game, in a 2–0 loss against Bayern Munich in the DFL-Supercup.[24] Soon after, he made his league debut for the club in the opening game of the season, coming on as a second–half substitute for Joël Matip, in a 2–1 loss against Hamburger SV.[25] After being absent out from the first team, due to injury in September,[26] he returned to the first team on 25 September 2010, in a 2–2 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach.[27] After returning to the first team, Manager Felix Magath commented on his performance, saying: "He still lacks physical robustness, but he sets the best accents forward."[28] Four days later, on 29 September 2010, he made his Champions League debut for the club, starting the whole game, in a 2–0 win over Benfica.[29] After missing out throughout January, due to international commitment for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup,[30] Uchida managed to regained his first team place in the right–back position for the rest of the season.[31] On 13 April 2011, Uchida became the first Japanese footballer to play for a team that reached the semi-finals of the Champion's League.[32] Despite the club did not reach the final, Uchida came on as a late second–half substitute for Peer Kluge, as the club beat MSV Duisburg 5–0 in the DFB-Pokal Final.[33] In his first season at Schalke 04, Uchida went on to make the total of 43 appearances in all competitions.

Uchida taking a shot during his time at Schalke.

In the 2011–12 season, Uchida appeared on the substitute bench for the first three league matches, with Marco Höger preferred.[34] But managed to make his first league appearance of the season, in a 1–0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on 28 August 2011.[35] Throughout the most of the 2011–12 season, Uchida and Höger competed over the right–back position, although he suffered his own injury concern himself.[36][37] Later in the 2011–12 season, Uchida managed to regain his first team place at Schalke 04 and his performance was praised by the club’s general manager Horst Heldt.[38] At the end of the season, Uchida made the total of 26 appearances in all competitions.

At the start of the 2012–13 season, on 17 August 2012, it announced by the club that Uchida signed a two-year professional contract extension to 30 June 2015.[39] He continued to be a first team regular for the side and appear the first two league matches before dropped in favour of Benedikt Höwedes.[40][41][42] It wasn’t until on 3 November 2012 when he scored his first goal for the club, in a 3–2 loss against 1899 Hoffenheim.[43] However, he suffered a muscle injury and was out for two weeks.[44] After returning to the first team from injury,[45] Uchida managed to regained his first team place throughout the 2012–13 season despite setback of injuries and setback.[46][47][48] He then played a vital role in the Revierderby against Borussia Dortmund, setting up two goals in a 2–1 on 9 March 2013.[49] At the end of the 2012–13 season, made the total of 30 appearances and scoring once in all competitions. For his performance, Uchida was named Bundesliga Team of the Season.[50]

In the 2013–14 season, Uchida started in the first two league matches before suffering a muscle injury, which he made a quick recovery.[51] He returned to the first team where he set up the open goal of the game for Ádám Szalai, in a 3–2 win over PAOK to help the team reach the group stage of the Champions League.[52] A month later, he scored his first goal in the Champions League in a 3-0 win against Steaua București on 18 September 2013.[53] In a 4–1 win over Augsburg on 5 October 2013, he set up two goals for the side.[54] After being out of the first team, due to injury and suspension,[55][56] Uchida, however, suffered a torn tendon during a 2–0 win over Hannover 96 and was sidelined for the rest of the season.[57] At the end of the 2013–14 season, he went on to make a total of 27 appearances and scoring once in all competitions. By May, Uchida managed to recover from his injury, just in time for him to be picked for the World Cup.[58]

In the 2014–15 season, however, Uchida missed the start of the season, due to a patella tendon irritation.[59] It wasn’t until on 23 September 2014 when he returned to the first team from injury, starting the whole game, in a 3–0 win over Werder Bremen.[60] After a good performance since returning from injury, Uchida signed a three–year contract, keeping him until 2018.[61] Shortly after signing a contract, Uchida set up a goal for Huntelaar to score the only goal in the game, in a 1–0 win over Augsburg on 31 October 2014.[62] By the end of the Month, Uchida was awarded October’s Player of the Month for his performance.[63] After receiving a handful of first team football,[64] he soon found himself as a part time player later in the season.[65] However, Uchida was eventually injured on two occasions, including another Patella problems that kept him out for the rest of the season.[66][67] At the end of the 2014–15 season, Uchida went on to make the total of 20 appearances in all competitions.

However, ahead of the 2015–16 season, Uchida undergone an operation on his patellar tendons, which saw him sidelined for six weeks.[68] By October, he said he’s recovering, though he hasn’t confirm the date of his return.[69] Though he returned to training in January,[70] Uchida, however, suffered an injury that saw him out for the rest of the season.[71][72]

Ahead of the 2016–17 season, Uchida returned to training in the pre–season tour.[73] However, his return to training was short–lived, as he suffered another injury once again.[74] After suffering another injury in November,[75] he made his first appearance in a year on 7 December 2016, in a 2–0 loss against Red Bull Salzburg in the UEFA Europa League match.[76] This turns out to be his only appearance, as he suffered injuries once more twice later in the season.[77][78]

Union Berlin[edit]

On 21 August 2017, Uchida joined 2. Bundesliga side Union Berlin on a one-year contract.[79] Schalke allowed him to leave on a free transfer and "accommodated him financially" following his seven-year stay at the club.[80]

Uchida made his Union Berlin debut on 10 September 2017 in a 3–2 loss against Fortuna Düsseldorf. Having been brought on as a substitute in the 75th minute he assisted for his club's temporary 2–1 lead three minutes later, an own goal by Kaan Ayhan.[81] On 19 September, he made his first start in a 1–0 loss against SV Sandhausen.[82] He played no further match before sustaining a thigh injury in mid-October.[83] Having made just two appearances before the winter break, he left Union Berlin to return to his native Japan signing with former club Kashima Antlers.[84]

Return to Kashima Antlers[edit]

On 2 January 2018, Uchida re-joined J1 team Kashima Antlers after playing seven and a half years in Germany. Uchida is scheduled to join his teammates in Kashima on 9 January 2018, shortly before the start of the 2018 J1 season.[85][86][87]

International career[edit]

Youth Team[edit]

Uchida defending Neymar during a match at the Confederations Cup in 2013.
Uchida playing for the Japan national team.

Uchida represented Japan at several underage levels. Uchida was part of the Japan team for the 2006 AFC Youth Championship finals hosted by India and Japan finished runners-up. Uchida also took part in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup finals hosted by Canada.[88]

Senior Team[edit]

In 2006, Uchida received an international call-up from national coach Ivica Osim but did not play any game.[89]

Uchida finally made a full international debut for Japan on 26 January 2008 in a friendly against Chile at National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. This was the first match under the reign of new manager Takeshi Okada.[90] On 6 February 2008, Uchida played 90 minutes for Japan in a 4–1 win against Thailand and became the first teenage Japanese footballer to play FIFA World Cup qualification after the establishment of the J. League in 1993. On 22 June 2008, Uchida scored the winner in a 1–0 win against Bahrain.[91] It was his first international goal and Uchida became the youngest Japanese goalscorer in FIFA World Cup qualification at age 20 years and 87 days, beating an 11-year-old record that was held by Hidetoshi Nakata. Two months, he was called up to Japan U23 squad for the 2008 Summer Olympics,[88] where he played twice for the side in the Olympics.[92]

Uchida was a member of the Japan team for the 2010 World Cup squad, being called up in May 2010.[93] However, Uchida appeared as a substitute bench for all the World Cup matches, as he failed to dispatch a right–back place from Yūichi Komano.[94]

In December 2010, Uchida was called up for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.[30] He played all the first three matches in the tournament before being suspended for a quarter–final against Qatar after being booked two times on different occasions.[95] After returning to the team to beat South Korea 3–2 in the penalty shoot–out, Uchida went on to help the club win the AFC Asian Cup after beating Australia 1–0, thanks to Tadanari Lee.[96] Two years later, Uchida was featured three times, all of them result in losses, in the 2013 Confederations Cup squad.[97]

In May 2014, Uchida was called up to the 2014 World Cup squad.[98][99] Prior to this, Uchida was involved in three friendly matches, which a game against Cyprus on 27 May 2014, he scored his second international goal for the club.[100] Unlike the previous World Cup, Uchida started all three matches in the World Cup, which saw Japan eliminated from the Group Stage.[101]

Expecting to be picked for the AFC Asian Cup,[102] Uchida, however, was cut from the squad ahead of the tournament.[103] Despite this, he returned to the national side two months later, playing two times for the side.[104]

Personal life[edit]

Outside of football, Uchida is considered very popular in his native country, Japan.[105] During a match against 1. FC Nürnberg on 26 February 2011, at 90 women from Japan visited the Veltins-Arena to see Uchida play and his popularity saw him being referred as "Japanese Beckham".[106] As a result, Uchida’s time at Schalke 04 resulted in the club launching their own websites and Twitter account in Japanese.[107]

Uchida provided the voice for a character named Uschi, who is named after him, in the Pokémon movie Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction.[108] He also reveals that he doesn’t drink alcohol, preferring to drink banana juice.[109]

In May 2015, Uchida is married to Yuko Aoki[110] and together, the couple has two children.[111] In April 2016, Uchida and his team–mate Yuya Osako opened a training facility in their hometown.[112]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 17 March 2019[113][114][115]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup[a] League Cup[b] Continental[c] Other[d] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Kashima Antlers 2006 J1 League 28 2 3 0 10 0 41 2
2007 31 0 5 1 8 0 44 1
2008 25 1 1 0 1 0 6 0 1 0 34 1
2009 31 0 2 0 2 0 7 1 1 0 43 1
2010 9 0 7 1 1 0 17 1
Total 124 3 11 1 21 0 20 2 3 0 179 6
Schalke 04 2010–11 Bundesliga 26 0 5 0 11 0 1 0 43 0
2011–12 18 0 0 0 8 0 26 0
2012–13 24 1 1 0 5 0 30 1
2013–14 17 0 2 0 8 1 27 1
2014–15 19 0 0 0 7 0 26 0
2015–16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016–17 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
Total 104 1 8 0 40 1 1 0 153 2
Union Berlin 2017–18 2. Bundesliga 2 0 0 0 2 0
Kashima Antlers 2018 J1 League 12 0 2 0 2 0 4 1 3 0 23 1
2019 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Total 15 0 2 0 2 0 4 1 3 0 26 1
Career total 245 4 21 1 23 0 64 4 7 0 360 9

International[edit]

As of 11 June 2015.
National team Year Apps Goals
Japan U-20
2005 2 0
2006 6 0
2007 4 0
Total 12 0
Japan U-23
2007 4 0
2008 4 0
Total 8 0
Japan
2008 14 1
2009 13 0
2010 7 0
2011 11 0
2012 7 0
2013 13 0
2014 7 1
2015 2 0
Total 74 2

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Japan's goal tally first.

Senior team[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 22 June 2008 Saitama Stadium, Saitama, Japan  Bahrain
1–0
1–0
2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification
2. 27 May 2014 Saitama Stadium, Saitama, Japan  Cyprus
1–0
1–0
Friendly

Appearances in major competitions[edit]

Team Competition Category Appearances Goals Team Record
Start Sub
Japan U20 2006 AFC Youth Championship qualification U-18 2 0 0 Qualified
Japan U20 2006 AFC Youth Championship U-19 6 0 0 2nd place
Japan U20 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup U-20 4 0 0 Round of 16
Japan U23 2008 Summer Olympics qualification U-22 4 0 0 Qualified
Japan U23 2008 Summer Olympics U-23 2 0 0 Round 1
Japan 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification Senior 7 0 1 Qualified
Japan 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification Senior 2 0 0 Qualified
Japan 2011 AFC Asian Cup Senior 5 0 0 Champions
Japan 2013 Confederations Cup Senior 2 1 0 Group Stage
Japan 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification Senior 9 1 0 Qualified
Japan 2014 FIFA World Cup Senior 3 0 0 Group Stage

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Kashima Antlers

Schalke 04

International[edit]

Japan

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]