Norio Sasaki

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Norio Sasaki
Norio Sasaki 2015.jpg
Norio Sasaki in 2015
Personal information
Date of birth (1958-05-24) 24 May 1958 (age 57)
Place of birth Yamagata Prefecture, Japan
Club information
Current team
Japan women (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1990 NTT Kanto 26 (2)
Teams managed
1997–1998 Omiya Ardija
2006–2008 Japan women U20
2008– Japan women

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (Goals).

Norio Sasaki (佐々木 則夫 Sasaki Norio?, born 24 May 1958) is the head coach of the Japan women's national football team and a former football player. He served as coach of the women's U-20 team starting in 2006, and was named coach of the national team in 2008. He coached the team in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, which upset host nation Germany and then Sweden to reach the tournament final, where they defeated the United States on penalty kicks to win their first FIFA Women's World Cup.[1]


Sasaki studied at and played for Teikyo High School and Meiji University. At Teikyo, he won the national inter-high school competition as team captain. His high school club also advanced to the semi-final at the All Japan High School Soccer Tournament.

After graduating from Meiji, Sasaki started to work for Nippon Telegraph and Telephone and joined company club NTT Kanto Soccer Club. He was a midfielder/defender. He contributed to the club's promotion to Japan Soccer League Division 2 in 1986.

Sasaki retired from the game at the age of 33. He served as the head coach of Japan Football League side Omiya Ardija in 1998. Then, he took various positions at Omiya including the youth team head-coach and the head of development.

In 2006, Sasaki became the assistant coach of Japan women's national football team as well as the head coach of its U-20 team. In 2007, he was promoted to the head coach of Japan women's national football team, succeeding Koji Ohasi.

Under Sasaki's reign, Nadeshiko won the EAFF Women's Football Championship in 2008 and again in 2010. He also led the Japan Women to a fourth place finish at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Sasaki and his team won the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup hosted by Germany, beating the U.S.A 3-1 on penalty shoot-outs in the final. Nadeshiko became the 19th recipients of Japan's People's Honour Award for winning the World Cup.

On 9 January 2012, Sasaki was awarded the Women's Best Coach Award in the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or.[2]

At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sasaki led Japan to their first Olympic medal, a Silver Medal, after losing 2-1 to the United States in the final.

At the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, Sasaki oversaw a 2nd-place effort, as the Japanese lost 5-2 to the U.S.A in the final.


Managerial honours[edit]

Japan Women


  1. ^ なでしこジャパン(日本女子代表チーム)新監督に佐々木 則夫氏が就任! (in Japanese). Japan Football Association ( 2007-12-07. Retrieved 13 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "FIFA Ballon d'Or: Norio Sasaki". FIFA. Retrieved 12 October 2012.