Keiji Ishizuka

Born: 26-Aug-1974
Height/Weight: 184/82
Previous Teams: Kyoto Shiko SC; Yamashiro High; Verdy Kawasaki; Mamore (Brazil); Verdy Kawasaki; Consadole Sapporo; Tokyo Verdy 1969; Belgium; Kawasaki Frontale
Appearances (J1/J2): 103/0 Goals: 15/0
First Appearance: 30-Apr-1994 Verdy Kawasaki -vs- Jubilo Iwata (at Iwata Stadium)
First Goal : 09-Nov-1994 Verdy Kawasaki -vs- Gamba Osaka (at Expo'70 Stadium)


Fame comes to different people in different ways, and Keiji Ishizuka earned a high profile in the Japanese soccer world, during the J.League's first decade, as much for what he failed to accomplish as for what he actually did. Ishizuka's finest performances came with Verdy Kawasaki, during their glory years, yet his statistics duyring this period were rather tame, due partly to the fact that he was a backup player filling in for even brighter stars such as Nobuhiro Takeda and Kazu Miura. Ishizuka was born in Japan, but his parents moved to Paraguay while he was still a child, an he spent much of his youth growing up in Paraguay. He returned to Japan in 1994 to play for Verdy, but received only a few appearances and decided to try his luck back in South America.

After a year at Mamore, in Brazil, he came back again to Verdy, and this time saw a bit more action. But the team was in a transitional phase and the head office decided to rent Ishizuka out to Consadole Sapporo (then a member of the JFL) for half the 1997 season. He duly contributed to Consadole's advance to the J.League, and by the time he got back to Verdy, found conditions a bit more settled, and had the best three years of his career between 1998 and 2000.

But Ishizuka never really settled in. Perhaps it was his overseas upbringing, or perhaps the fact that Verdy were in a tailspin and heading towards the bottom end of the league table. Whatever the case, in mid-2001 he left Japan again, travelling to Hollland and Belgium to try to find a team. After a few brief stints with second- and third-division clubs, he finally abandoned the effort and came back to Japan once more. After a brief stint with Kawasaki Frontale, he moved to Nagoya Grampus,but failed to fit in there, either.

Ishizuka tried one last time to find work overseas, but by the end of the 2003 season, he had to accept that his playing days were over, and announced his retirement. Though the final statistics for his J.League career may seem less than impressive, Ishizuka was a colorful figure who earned his share of fame, and he was certainly an important contributor to the J.League in its formative years


Photo Year Team Uniform# Appearances Goals
- 1994 Verdy Kawasaki - 7 1
- 1995 Verdy Kawasaki 15 0
- 1996 Mamore (Brazil) - -- --
- 1997- Verdy Kawasaki 7 1
- -1997 Consadole Sapporo 10 2
- 1998 Verdy Kawasaki 10 1
1999 Verdy Kawasaki 17 3
2000 Verdy Kawasaki 29 6
2001 Tokyo Verdy 13 3
2002- Tokyo Verdy 5 0
- -2002 Belgium - -- --
2003- Kawasaki Frontale 0 0
- -2003 Nagoya Grampus 3 0
- J.League TOTAL 116 17