Teruo Iwamoto spent his entire playing career on second-rate clubs, and never had a chance to lift a trophy of any kind. In many ways, this must be viewed as a disappointment for the player who, when he entered the J.League in the mid-1990s, was one of two star midfielders of a young, competitive and exciting team called Bellmare Hiratsuka. His partner in creating offence for Bellmare was a skinny kid from Yamanashi prefecture named Nakata..
Unfortunately, Iwamoto's career did not move in quite the same direction as that of Nakata. Though he did win a few calls to the national team, Iwamoto was stuck on a team with little money and even less management sense. One by one, the team's best players departed for greener pastures, and by the time Iwamoto's turn came, in 1998, Bellmare was in a tailspin. Iwamoto's next destination, Kyoto Purple Sanga, was nearly as troubled and after Kyoto narrowly avoided relegation in 1999, Iwamoto moved on to Kawasaki Frontale, who had just been promoted from the J2.
Fate continued to be adverse, however, and Frontale were relegated after just one season, forcing Iwamoto to move on once again. This time he joined Verdy Kawasaki, but Verdy were also in the final throes of a long decline, and at the end of 2000 the team had to be restructured, forcing Iwamoto to move on yet again. He finally seemed to find a home at his next club, Vegalta Sendai, but after three seasons they too were relegated, and Iwamoto had to pull up stakes once more. His final stop was Nagoya Grampus, but by this time Iwamoto's skills were fading, and he would last only a year at Nagoya before accepting retirement.Considering the fact that he played most of his career on teams that were either collapsing or trying to rebuild, one has to view his 42 goals and nearly 250 appearances as reasonably solid numbers. Iwamoto maintained a fine passing touch throughout his career, and collected nearly 150 assists. Though he never tasted any real successes in terms of team performance, Iwamoto was a true professional, working hard, making a 100% effort and contributing steadily to his team's performance, even under the most disheartening circumstances.