Ko Ishikawa established himself as one of the most unflappable defenders in the league as a wing back at Verdy Kawasaki, in the early 1990s, and he maintained that reputation for almost ten years. Though his speed on the overlap began to fade as he got older, Ishikawa was a key contributor on offense as well, with a very accurate cross. Born in Bolivia to a Japanese foreign affairs official, he began playing football at a young age In his younger years, when he had the speed to outrun defenders down the right wing, he could be truly dangerous on both ends, but his specialty was always on defence.
Ishikawa, who was actually born in South America (Bolivia), developed good instincts and positioning during a stint at Mamore in Brazil, before the J.League was created, and returned to Japan to join Verdy in 1992 as one of the new league's young stars. He was a member of two championship teams with Verdy, and helped Grampus to an Emperor's Cup crown. The only thing that always eluded him was a national team cap.