Cerezo Osaka

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Cerezo Osaka
Full name Cerezo Osaka
Nickname(s) Sakura (cherry blossoms)
Founded 1957; 60 years ago (1957)
Ground Kincho Stadium
Ground Capacity 18,000
Owner Yanmar
Chairman Minoru Tamada
Manager Kiyoshi Okuma
League J1 League
2016 4th
(Promoted from J2 League through Promotion Playoffs)
Website Club home page
Current season

Cerezo Osaka (セレッソ大阪 Seresso Ōsaka?) is a J. League football team, currently playing in the J2 League. The team name Cerezo (cherry tree in Spanish) is also the flower of Ōsaka city.[1] The official home towns for the team are Osaka City and Sakai City.


Old crest

The team, originally called Yanmar Diesel, started in 1957 as the company team of Yanmar and was an original founder of the now-disbanded Japan Soccer League. With four Japanese league titles to its credit, it was a mainstay of the JSL First Division until 1990 when it was first relegated, and thus joined the former Japan Football League in 1992.

In 1993, the club incorporated as Osaka Football Club Ltd., and adopted the name Cerezo after a public contest.[2] In 1994, it won the JFL championship and was promoted to the J1 League in 1995. This also coincided with a run to the finals of the Emperor's Cup, which they lost to long-time league rivals Bellmare Hiratsuka.

In 2001, it finished in the last spot and was relegated to the J2 league. It managed to finish second in the 2002 season and returned to J1 in 2003.

In 2005 they came close to becoming J-League champions, and topped the league into the last match day. In their final match, they led F.C. Tokyo with minutes to go and were on course to win the title. However, Tokyo equalized in the 90th minute, and a number of other late goals around Japan meant they finished 5th. Arch-rivals Gamba Osaka, ended up winning the title. Cerezo returned to J2 for the 2007 season after finishing second to last in 2006. In 2009 they were promoted and returned to the top division. In 2014 they ended their season in 17th place. As a result, the team will be playing in Division 2 this 2015 season.


Cerezo's team color is pink, like the cherry blossom flowers the name is based on. Combination colors have been navy blue and black. This year, their uniform color is pink with navy (home) and white with navy stripes (away) for the field players, black (home) and pink with navy (away) for the goal keepers.

During the Yanmar Diesel days in the late 1970s to mid-1980s, the uniform was all-red reminiscent of Liverpool F.C.


The home towns for the team are Osaka, and Sakai, Japan. The team plays at Kincho Stadium, with some bigger games played at Yanmar Stadium Nagai.[3]

The team practices at Minamitsumori Sakura Sports Park, Maishima Sports Island, and Amagasaki Yanmar Diesel Ground.

Team mascots[edit]

The main team mascot is a wolf, nicknamed Lobby.

His full name is Noble Valiente Hache Lobito de Cerezo, which roughly translates to "a noble and brave son of a wolf from the Cerezo family, of good lineage".

The other team mascot is Madame Lobina, Lobby’s mother, who supports her son and Cerezo Osaka enthusiastically at many of the matches. Her full name is Elegante Esplendida Madame Lobina de Cerezo, which roughly translates to "elegant and splendid Madam wolf from the Cerezo family, of good lineage".[4]


Cerezo's biggest rival is fellow local team Gamba Osaka. The matches played against Gamba are referred to as the Osaka derby.

Record as J. League member[edit]

Season Div. Tms. Pos. Attendance/G J. League Cup Emperor's Cup
1995 J1 14 8 12,097 - 2nd Round
1996 J1 16 13 8,229 Group Stage 4th Round
1997 J1 17 11 9,153 Group Stage 4th Round
1998 J1 18 9 9,864 Group Stage 3rd Round
1999 J1 16 6 10,216 2nd Round 4th Round
2000 J1 16 5 13,548 2nd Round Quarter-Final
2001 J1 16 16 11,857 1st Round Final
2002 J2 12 2 7,952 - 4th Round
2003 J1 16 9 13,854 Group Stage Final
2004 J1 16 15 14,323 Group Stage 4th Round
2005 J1 18 5 17,648 Quarter-Final Semi-Final
2006 J1 18 17 13,026 Quarter-Final 4th Round
2007 J2 13 5 6,627 - 4th Round
2008 J2 15 4 10,554 - 4th Round
2009 J2 18 2 9,912 - 2nd Round
2010 J1 18 3 15,026 Group Stage 4th Round
2011 J1 18 12 14,145 Quarter-Final Semi-Final
2012 J1 18 14 16,815 Quarter-Final Quarter-Final
2013 J1 18 4 18,819 Quarter-Final 4th Round
2014 J1 18 17 21,627 Quarter-Final Quarter-Final
2015 J2 22 4 12,232 - 1st Round
2016 J2 22 4 12,509 - 3rd Round
  • Tms. = Number of teams
  • Pos. = Position in league
  • Attendance/G = Average league attendance

League history[edit]

  • Division 1 (Japan Soccer League Div. 1): 1965–90 (as Yanmar Diesel)
  • Division 2 (Japan Soccer League Div. 2): 1991 (as Yanmar Diesel)
  • Division 2 (Japan Football League Div. 1): 1992–94 (as Yanmar Diesel until 1993; Cerezo Osaka since 1994)
  • Division 1 (J. League Div. 1): 1995–01
  • Division 2 (J. League Div. 2): 2002
  • Division 1 (J. League Div. 1): 2003–06
  • Division 2 (J. League Div. 2): 2007–09
  • Division 1 (J. League Div. 1): 2010–2014
  • Division 2 (J2 League): 2015–2016
  • Division 1 (J1 League): 2017–


2017 Season Team Members[edit]

As of 25 January 2017.[5] Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Japan GK Kentaro Kakoi
2 Japan DF Riku Matsuda
3 Japan DF Teruyuki Moniwa
4 Japan DF Kota Fujimoto
5 Japan DF Yusuke Tanaka
6 Brazil MF Souza
7 Japan MF Kunimitsu Sekiguchi
8 Japan MF Yoichiro Kakitani (captain)
9 Japan FW Kenyu Sugimoto
10 Japan MF Hotaru Yamaguchi
11 Brazil FW Ricardo Santos
13 Japan MF Mitsuru Maruoka
14 Japan DF Yusuke Maruhashi
15 Japan MF Yasuki Kimoto
16 Japan MF Kota Mizunuma
17 Japan MF Takaki Fukumitsu
18 Japan MF Shohei Kiyohara
19 Japan FW Ryuji Sawakami
20 Japan MF Noriyuki Sakemoto
21 South Korea GK Kim Jin-Hyeon
22 Croatia DF Matej Jonjić
No. Position Player
23 Japan DF Tatsuya Yamashita
24 Japan MF Kazuya Yamamura
25 Japan MF Hirofumi Yamauchi
26 Japan MF Daichi Akiyama
27 Japan GK Kenta Tanno
28 Japan DF Hayato Nukui
29 Japan DF Kakeru Funaki
30 Japan MF Musashi Oyama
31 Japan FW Towa Yamane
32 South Korea GK Ahn Joon-Soo
33 Japan DF Kenta Mukuhara
34 Japan MF Masaki Sakamoto
35 Japan MF Masaki Okino
36 Japan MF Toshiki Onozawa
37 Japan DF Reiya Morishita
38 Japan MF Masataka Nishimoto
39 Japan DF Shoji Honoya
40 Japan FW Takeru Kishimoto
45 Japan GK Shu Mogi
46 Japan MF Hiroshi Kiyotake

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Japan GK Hiroyuki Takeda (at Tokyo Verdy)
Japan DF Jurato Ikeda (at Thailand Bangkok Glass F.C.)
Japan FW Taiga Maekawa (at Tokushima Vortis)
Japan FW Rei Yonezawa (at Renofa Yamaguchi FC)

World Cup Players[edit]

The following players have represented their country at the World Cup whilst playing for Cerezo Osaka:

World Cup 1998

World Cup 2002

World Cup 2014


Yanmar Osaka Soccer Club[edit]

Cerezo Osaka[edit]

  • Japan Football League: (1) 1994 (as the company team)


Manager Nat. Tenure
Paulo Emilio  Brazil 1994–96
Hiroshi Sowa  Japan 1 Jan 1996–31 Dec 1996
Levir Culpi  Brazil 1 Feb 1997–31 Dec 1997
Yasutaro Matsuki  Japan 1998
René Desaeyere  Belgium 1999
Hiroshi Soejima  Japan 1 Jan 2000–1 Aug 2001
João Carlos  Brazil 2001
Akihiro Nishimura  Japan 2001–03
Yuji Tsukada  Japan 2003
Petar Nadoveza  Croatia 2004
Fuad Muzurović  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2004
Albert Pobor  Croatia 2004
Shinji Kobayashi  Japan 1 July 2004 – 17 April 2006
Yuji Tsukada  Japan 18 April 2006–31 Dec 2006
Satoshi Tsunami  Japan 1 Jan 2007–7 May 2007
Levir Culpi  Brazil 8 May 2007–31 Dec 2011
Sérgio Soares  Brazil 1 Jan 2012–26 Aug 2012
Levir Culpi  Brazil 27 Aug 2012–11 Dec 2013
Ranko Popović  Serbia 1 Jan 2014–9 Jun 2014
Marco Pezzaiuoli  Germany 16 Jun 2014–8 Sep 2014
Yuji Okuma  Japan 8 Sep 2014–16 Dec 2014
Paulo Autuori  Brazil 1 Jan 2015–17 Nov 2015
Kiyoshi Okuma  Japan 17 Nov 2015–

History of uniform sponsors[edit]

Year Chest Sleeve Back Pants Supplier
/Nippon Ham
Yanmar Nippon Ham
- Mizuno
1995 Nippon Ham CAPCOM
1997 Osaka
Olympic Bid Committee 2008
1999 -
2000 Tamanoi Vinegar
2002 Daiso House
2003 Daiso
2006 Yanmar SUPER H2O Nippon Ham
2007 OSAKA PiTaPa
2009 -
2015 PUMA


Year Slogan
1994 Jump To J!
1995 To Be Professional
2002 Passion to the Top
2003 PASSION SOUL (情熱魂)
2004 Be ONE!
2005 日々進化 (Evolving daily)
2006 さらなる挑戦 (A Further Challenge)
2007 猛進 (Rush)
2009 ユアマイハート (You Are my Heart)
2010 攻めきる。~最後の笛が鳴るまで (Attack Until The Last Whistle Blows)
2011 攻めきるMAXかかげよ桜冠 (Attack To The Max, Raise The Cherry Crown)
2012 追球 THE CEREZO (Pursuit)
2013 冒険 ココロ躍れ
2014 史上最攻 時は、来た。
2015 For The Top of Dreams (夢の頂に向かって)

In popular culture[edit]

In the popular Captain Tsubasa manga, a character named Teppei Kisugi becomes a professional football player and joins Cerezo Osaka.

Former players[edit]


  1. ^ Club Guide Profile, Link to official team profile site.
  2. ^ "Cerezo Osaka Profile". Cerezo Osaka official website. Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
  3. ^ Stadium Information[permanent dead link], Link to stadiums.
  4. ^ "Club Guide". 
  5. ^ "Player/Staff List". 

External links[edit]