Kashima Antlers

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Kashima Antlers
Full nameKashima Antlers F.C.
Founded1947; 72 years ago (1947) (Sumitomo Metals FC)
GroundKashima Soccer Stadium
OwnerNippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (majority)
ChairmanShigeru Ibata
ManagerGo Oiwa
LeagueJ1 League
2018J1 League, 3rd
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Kashima Antlers (鹿島アントラーズ, Kashima Antorāzu) are a Japanese professional association football club playing in the J1 League with financial backing from the Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal.

Antlers is derived from the city name, Kashima, which literally means "deer island".

Since the J.League's creation and introduction of professional Japanese football in 1993, Kashima have proved by far Japan's most successful club team, having won the J.League title a record eight times, the J.League Cup a record six times and the Emperor's Cup five times for an unprecedented total of nineteen major domestic titles. Kashima also won their first AFC Champions League title in 2018. Kashima have finished in the top five of the league for over seventy percent of all seasons played to date, recorded an average end of season league placing of third and captured a major domestic title in over sixty percent of all seasons played to date.

Kashima won the most titles out of all the J.League Champions, and are also one of only two teams to have competed in Japan's top flight of professional football every year since its inception (the other being Yokohama F. Marinos).


The name ‘Antlers’ is derived from the city of Kashima, which literally translates to ‘Deer Island’. The club crest not only resembles deer antlers but it also reflects the image of rose thorn as it is the official flower of Ibaraki, the home prefecture of the club. Deer are amiable animals and are viewed in some religions as spiritual messengers. In fact, Kashima Shrine, one of the most famous shrines in Japan and located in close proximity to the club headquarters, have kept and raised deer for more than 1,300 years as spiritual symbol. Deer are affectionate animals but are also known for their courageous character as they battle each other head to head with lethal antlers.

Leonardo Araújo, played for Kashima from 1994 to 1996

Founded in 1947 as Sumitomo Metal Industries Factory Football Club in Osaka. It played in the semi-professional Japan Soccer League and moved to Kashima, Ibaraki Prefecture in 1975. They were promoted to the JSL's top flight in 1984, but never made much of an impact, going down in 1985/86, returning in 1986/87 and going down again in 1988/89. Its last standing in the JSL was 2nd in the Second Division for 1991/92.

After the formation of the fully professional J.League, Sumitomo, like all other clubs, stripped the corporate brand from the team name and reformed as the Kashima Antlers. Kashima was essentially promoted to the new top flight, as many JSL First Division teams decided to relegate themselves being unprepared for professionalism. (Of the original 10 J.League founding member clubs, Kashima and Shimizu S-Pulse were newly promoted. Ironically, Kashima had defeated a forerunner of Shimizu's, Nippon Light Metal/Hagoromo Club, to earn its JSL Second Division place back in 1974).

Since the J.League's creation and introduction of professional Japanese football in 1993, Kashima have consistently been amongst the strongest teams in the country, holding several distinctions and records. Led by former Brazilian star and Japanese national team coach Zico in the team's formative years, Kashima were the first team to win a J.League stage, claiming the 1st stage of the inaugural season in 1993. This laid a platform for continuous greatness and long after the Kashima icon had departed, in 2000 Kashima became the first J.League team to achieve the "treble", by winning all three major titles: J.League, J.League Cup, and Emperor's Cup in the same year.

In recent times, by clinching the 2007 J.League title they became the first and only team in Japan to have won ten domestic titles in the professional era. In 2008 they became the first and only club to successfully defend the J.League title on two separate occasions. In 2009 they became the first and only club to win three consecutive J.League titles. With victories in back to back J.League Cups in 2011, 2012 and most recently followed by their 2015 victory, Kashima extended their unmatched record of major domestic titles in the professional era to seventeen.

To this day, Kashima has maintained strong ties with the football community in Brazil, a fact borne out of Zico's past affiliation with the club. Kashima's Brazilian connection has manifested itself in both the club's player transfer and coaching policy resulting in only three non-Brazilian foreign players and predominantly Brazilian managers signing for Kashima since the inception of the J.League.

The population of Kashima city is a mere 60,000 and for that reason club has also adopted the surrounding cities of Itako, Kamisu, Namegata and Hokota as its official hometowns, all in Ibaraki Prefecture. The combined population of five cities is 280,000. Antlers home games are played at Kashima Soccer Stadium, one of the 2002 FIFA World Cup venues with capacity of 40,000.

In 2016, they became the first Asian team to reach the FIFA Club World Cup final following a 3–0 victory over South American champions Atlético Nacional.[2] In the final, after a 2–2 draw against European champions Real Madrid after 90 minutes, they were beaten 4–2 after extra time.[3]


Year Slogan
1999 NEXT
2000 Glory Again – 原点からの挑戦 –
2001 - 勝利主義 Antlersism – FOR NEXT 10 YEARS
2002 - 進化 Antlersism – STAIRWAY TO THE WORLD
2003 OVER'03 – カシマからアジア、そして世界へ –
2004 FOOTBALL DREAM 2004 – 奪冠10 –
2005 FOOTBALL DREAM 2005 – 反撃宣言 –
2006 FOOTBALL DREAM 2006 – 一新制覇 –
2007 FOOTBALL DREAM'07 – 魂 Spirits –
2010 FOOTBALL DREAM 2010 – Evolução 新化 –
2013 RENASCIMENTO – 誇りを胸に –
2014 SPECTACLE – 戦 –


List of Sponsors[4]


Current squad[edit]

Kashima players training at Azadi Stadium

The Kashima Antlers squad for the 2018 season.

As of 9 July 2019.[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 South Korea GK Kwoun Sun-tae
2 Japan DF Atsuto Uchida
4 Brazil MF Léo Silva
5 South Korea DF Jung Seung-hyun
6 Japan MF Ryota Nagaki
8 Japan MF Shoma Doi
11 Brazil MF Leandro
13 Japan MF Atsutaka Nakamura
14 Japan FW Takeshi Kanamori
15 Japan FW Sho Ito
16 Japan DF Shuto Yamamoto
17 Japan MF Taiki Hirato
18 Brazil MF Serginho
19 Japan FW Kazuma Yamaguchi
20 Japan MF Kento Misao
No. Position Player
21 Japan GK Hitoshi Sogahata
23 Japan DF Itsuki Oda
24 Japan DF Yukitoshi Ito
25 Japan MF Yasushi Endo
26 Japan DF Yuta Koike (on loan from Sint-Truiden)
27 Brazil DF Bueno
28 Japan DF Koki Machida
29 Japan GK Shinichiro Kawamata
30 Japan MF Shintaro Nago
31 Japan GK Yuya Oki
33 Japan DF Ikuma Sekigawa
34 Japan MF Kotaro Arima
35 Japan DF Shogo Sasaki
36 Japan FW Ayase Ueda (special designated player)
38 Japan GK Taiki Yamada
39 Japan DF Tomoya Inukai
41 Japan MF Ryōhei Shirasaki

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 MF Kazune Kubota (at Fagiano Okayama)
No. Position Player
Japan FW Yuki Kakita (at Zweigen Kanazawa)


Manager Nationality Tenure
Masakatsu Miyamoto  Japan January 1992 – June 1994
Edu  Brazil June 1994 – December 1995
João Carlos  Brazil January 1996 – July 1998
Takashi Sekizuka (interim)  Japan July 1998
Zé Mario  Brazil July 1998 – August 1999
Takashi Sekizuka (interim)  Japan August 1999
Zico (interim)  Brazil 20 August 1999 – 31 December 1999
Toninho Cerezo  Brazil 1 January 2000 – 30 December 2005
Paulo Autuori  Brazil 31 December 2005 – 29 November 2006
Oswaldo de Oliveira  Brazil 1 January 2007 – 31 December 2011
Jorginho  Brazil 1 January 2012 – 31 December 2012
Toninho Cerezo  Brazil 1 January 2013 – 22 July 2015
Masatada Ishii  Japan 23 July 2015 – 31 May 2017
Go Oiwa  Japan 31 May 2017 –


Season Division Teams Position Average Attendance J.League Cup Emperor's Cup Asia FIFA CWC
1992 - - - - Semifinal Quarterfinal - - -
1993 J1 10 2 14,016 Group Stage Final - - -
1994 J1 12 3 16,812 1st round 1st round - - -
1995 J1 14 7 19,141 - Semifinal - - -
1996 J1 16 1 15,386 Group Stage Quarterfinal - - -
1997 J1 17 2 16,985 Winner Winner - - -
1998 J1 18 1 15,345 Semifinal Semifinal CC Quarterfinal -
1999 J1 16 9 17,049 Final 4th round CWC 3rd Place -
2000 J1 16 1 17,507 Winner Winner CC Quarterfinal -
2001 J1 16 1 22,425 Semifinal Quarterfinal - - -
2002 J1 16 4 21,590 Winner Final CC Quarterfinal -
2003 J1 16 5 21,204 Final Semifinal CL Group Stage -
2004 J1 16 6 17,585 Quarterfinal Quarterfinal - - -
2005 J1 18 3 18,641 Group Stage Quarterfinal - - -
2006 J1 18 6 15,433 Final Semifinal - - -
2007 J1 18 1 16,239 Semifinal Winner - - -
2008 J1 18 1 19,714 Quarterfinal 5th round CL Quarterfinal -
2009 J1 18 1 21,617 Quarterfinal Quarterfinal CL Round of 16 -
2010 J1 18 4 20,966 Quarterfinal Winner CL Round of 16 -
2011 J1 18 6 16,156 Winner 4th round CL Round of 16 -
2012 J1 18 11 15,381 Winner Semifinal - - -
2013 J1 18 5 16,419 Quarterfinal 4th round - - -
2014 J1 18 3 17,665 Group Stage 2nd round - - -
2015 J1 18 5 16,423 Winner 3rd round CL Group Stage -
2016 J1 18 1 19,103 Group Stage Winner - - Final
2017 J1 18 2 20,467 Quarterfinal Quarterfinal CL Round of 16 -
2018 J1 18 3 20,547 Semifinal Semifinal CL Winner 4th place


Kashima Antlers celebrate after winning the 2018 AFC Champions League.

Sumitomo Soccer Club (Amateur Era – 1947 to 1991)

Kashima Antlers (Professional Era – 1992 to present)



Personnel awards[edit]

World Cup players[edit]

The following players have been selected by their country in the World Cup, while playing for Kashima Antlers:

Olympic players[edit]

The following players have represented their country at the Summer Olympic Games whilst playing for Kashima Antlers:

Former players[edit]

International capped players[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In the Captain Tsubasa manga series, two characters were players of Kashima Antlers. The Brazilian midfielders Luciano Leo (himself loosely based on Leonardo) and Pepe were colleagues of Flamengo's Carlos Santana and São Paulo FC's Tsubasa Ozora.


  1. ^ "Kashima Soccer Stadium". so-net.ne.jp. Archived from the original on 1 November 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Kashima beats Nacional to become first Asian team to reach Club World Cup final". 14 December 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Real Madrid win Club World Cup". BBC. 18 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Sponsor". Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Players" (in Japanese). Kashima Antlers Official Website. Retrieved 16 January 2019.

External links[edit]