Kashima Antlers

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Kashima Antlers
Full nameKashima Antlers F.C. Co., Ltd.
Founded1947; 74 years ago (1947) (as Sumitomo Metal FC)
GroundKashima Soccer Stadium
ChairmanFumiaki Koizumi
ManagerNaoki Soma (caretaker)
LeagueJ1 League
2020J1 League, 5th of 18
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Kashima Antlers (鹿島アントラーズ, Kashima Antorāzu) are a Japanese professional football club based in Kashima, Ibaraki, part of the Greater Tokyo Area. The club plays in the J1 League, which is the top tier of football in the country.

Antlers is derived from the city name, Kashima, which literally means "deer island". The club has financial backing from Mercari, a Japanese e-commerce company.

Since the J.League's creation and introduction of professional Japanese football in 1993, Kashima have proved by far Japan's most successful football club, 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 nineteen major domestic titles. Kashima became Asian Champions when they 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 title in over sixty percent of all seasons played to date.[when?]

Kashima are also one of only two clubs 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 and moved to Kashima, Ibaraki in 1975. It played in the semi-professional Japan Soccer League (JSL). 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 club's name and reformed as the Kashima Antlers. Kashima was essentially promoted to the new top flight, as many JSL First Division clubs decided to relegate themselves being unprepared for professionalism. (Of the original 10[a] 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 clubs in the country, holding several distinctions and records. Led by former Brazilian star and Japanese national team coach Zico in the club's formative years, Kashima were the first club 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 club 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 club 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 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 club 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]

Colour, sponsors and manufacturers[edit]

Season(s) Main Shirt Sponsor Collarbone Sponsor Additional Sponsor(s) Kit Manufacturer
2018 Lixil Mercari Yellow Hat Riso Kagaku Corporation Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Eyeful Home - Nike
2019 Nippon Steel
2021 Merpay Connect

Kit history[edit]


Year Slogan
1999 NEXT
2000 Glory Again – 原点からの挑戦 –
(Challenge from the Beginning)
2001 - 勝利主義 Antlersism – FOR NEXT 10 YEARS
(Doctrine of Victory)
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 –
(From Kashima to Asia, then to the World)
2004 FOOTBALL DREAM 2004 – 奪冠10 –
2005 FOOTBALL DREAM 2005 – 反撃宣言 –
(Declaration of Counter-Attack)
2006 FOOTBALL DREAM 2006 – 一新制覇 –
(Brand New Conquest)
2007 FOOTBALL DREAM'07 – 魂 Spirits –
2010 FOOTBALL DREAM 2010 – Evolução 新化 –
2013 RENASCIMENTO – 誇りを胸に –
(Rebirth – Carrying Pride in Our Hearts)
2014 SPECTACLE – 戦 –
2020 FOOTBALL DREAM みせる[4]
(On Display)


List of Sponsors[5]


Current squad[edit]

Kashima players training at Azadi Stadium
As of 19 August 2021[6]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK South Korea KOR Kwoun Sun-tae
2 DF Japan JPN Koki Anzai
4 MF Brazil BRA Léo Silva
6 MF Japan JPN Ryota Nagaki
7 MF Brazil BRA Juan Alano
8 MF Japan JPN Shoma Doi
9 FW Brazil BRA Everaldo
11 MF Japan JPN Ryuji Izumi
13 DF Japan JPN Ryotaro Araki
14 DF Japan JPN Katsuya Nagato
15 DF Brazil BRA Bueno
17 MF Brazil BRA Arthur Caíke
18 FW Japan JPN Ayase Ueda
19 FW Japan JPN Itsuki Someno
20 MF Japan JPN Kento Misao (captain)
No. Pos. Nation Player
21 MF Brazil BRA Diego Pituca
22 DF Japan JPN Rikuto Hirose
23 DF Japan JPN Naoki Hayashi
24 DF Japan JPN Yusuke Ogawa
25 MF Japan JPN Yasushi Endo
26 MF Japan JPN Naoki Suto
27 MF Japan JPN Yuta Matsumura
28 DF Japan JPN Koki Machida
29 GK Japan JPN Tomoki Hayakawa
31 GK Japan JPN Yuya Oki
32 DF Japan JPN Keigo Tsunemoto
33 DF Japan JPN Ikuma Sekigawa
34 MF Japan JPN Yu Funabashi
38 GK Japan JPN Taiki Yamada
39 DF Japan JPN Tomoya Inukai

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. Pos. Nation Player
DF Japan JPN Tatsuki Nara (on loan at Avispa Fukuoka)
DF Japan JPN Itsuki Oda (on loan at JEF United Chiba)
DF Japan JPN Shogo Sasaki (on loan at Iwate Grulla Morioka)
DF Japan JPN Daiki Sugioka (on loan at Shonan Bellmare)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF Japan JPN Shintaro Nago (on loan at Shonan Bellmare)
MF Japan JPN Ryōhei Shirasaki (on loan at Sagan Tosu)
FW Japan JPN Kotaro Arima (on loan at Tochigi SC)
FW Japan JPN Yuki Kakita (on loan at Tokushima Vortis)

Technical staff[edit]

As of June 2020
Position Name
Technical Director Brazil Zico
Manager Japan Naoki Soma
Assistant coach Brazil Carlos Pacheco
Assistant coach
Goalkeeping Coach Japan Yohei Sato


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 Mário  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 – 1 January 2020
Antônio Carlos Zago  Brazil 2 January 2020 - 3 April 2021
Naoki Soma (interim)  Japan 7 April 2021 - present

Record as J.League member[edit]

Champions Runners-up Third place Promoted Relegated
Season Div. Tms. Pos. Avg. Attd. Emperor's Cup J.League Cup Super Cup Asia Others
1992 Quarter final Semi-final
1993 J1 10 2nd 14,016 Runners-up Group stage
1994 12 3rd 16,812 1st round 1st round
1995 14 7th 19,141 Semi-final
1996 16 1st 15,386 Quarter final Group stage
1997 17 2nd 16,985 Winner Winner Winner
1998 18 1st 15,345 Semi-final Semi-final Winner CC Quarter final
1999 16 9th 17,049 4th round Runners-up Winner CWC 3rd Place
2000 16 1st 17,507 Winner Winner CC Quarter final
2001 16 1st 22,425 Quarter final Semi-final Runners-up
2002 16 4th 21,590 Runners-up Winner Runners-up CC Quarter final
2003 16 5th 21,204 Semi-final Runners-up CL Group stage A3 Winner
2004 16 6th 17,585 Quarter final Quarter final
2005 18 3rd 18,641 Quarter final Group stage
2006 18 6th 15,433 Semi-final Runners-up
2007 18 1st 16,239 Winner Semi-final
2008 18 1st 19,714 5th round Quarter final Runners-up CL Quarter final
2009 18 1st 21,617 Quarter final Quarter final Winner CL Round of 16
2010 18 4th 20,966 Winner Quarter final Winner CL Round of 16
2011 18 6th 16,156 4th round Winner Runners-up CL Round of 16
2012 18 11th 15,381 Semi-final Winner Suruga Winner
2013 18 5th 16,419 4th round Quarter final Suruga Winner
2014 18 3rd 17,665 2nd round Group stage
2015 18 5th 16,423 3rd round Winner CL Group stage
2016 18 1st 19,103 Winner Group stage Suruga Runners-up
FIFA Runners-up
2017 18 2nd 20,467 Quarter final Quarter final Winner CL Round of 16
2018 18 3rd 20,547 Semi-final Semi-final CL Winner FIFA 4th place
2019 18 3rd 20,571 Runners-up Semi-final CL Quarter final
2020 18 5th 6,466 - Group stage CL Playoff
2021 20 - - Quarter finals



Revenue & Expenditure[edit]

Assets & Net Worth[edit]


Kashima Antlers celebrate after winning the 2018 AFC Champions League.

Sumitomo Metal FC[edit]

Kashima Antlers[edit]



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. ^ 2020シーズンスローガン (2020 Season Slogan) – Kashima Antlers (January 23, 2020).
  5. ^ "Sponsor". Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  6. ^ "トップチーム | 鹿島アントラーズ オフィシャルサイト".

External links[edit]