Masami Ihara

Position: DF
Born: 18-Sep-1967
Height/Weight: 182/74
Birthplace: Shiga
Previous Teams: Moriyama HS; Tsukuba U.; Nissan Motor FC; Yokohama Marinos; Jubilo Iwata, Urawa Reds
Appearances (J1): 292 Goals: 5
First Appearance:15-May-1993 Yokohama Marinos -vs- Verdy Kawasaki (at National Stadium)
First Goal :04-May-1994 Yokohama Marinos -vs- Verdy Kawasaki (at Mitsuzawa Stadium)


Masami Ihara was the icon of Japan's defence for nearly a decade, and in eight years at Yokohama he was such a central part of the team that he earned the nickname "Mr. Marinos". During the 1990s, he was perhaps the second most recognizable domestic star in the J.League, behind only Kazu Miura. Ihara's record of 123 national team caps stood as the benchmark for Japanese players for almost two decades, until Yasuhito Endo finally overtook him in the 20-teens.

A brilliant position player,. Ihara was never particularly speedy, but he rarely was beaten on the dribble and had good strength in the air. Ihara was named Asian Player of the year in 1995, and won numerous selections to the J.League all-star team.

After retirement, Ihara entered the coaching ranks. Today, he is a member of the National Team coaching staff, and supervises younger age groups in particular.


Photo Year Team Uniform # Appearances Goals
- 1993 Yokohama Marinos 32 0
- 1994 Yokohama Marinos 41 1
- 1995 Yokohama Marinos 47 1
- 1996 Yokohama Marinos 29 1
- 1997 Yokohama Marinos 22 0
- 1998 Yokohama Marinos 27 0
1999 Yokohama Marinos 25 0
  2000 Jubilo Iwata 20 1
2001 Urawa Reds 26 1
2002 Urawa Reds 22 0