Masahiro Fukuda

Born: 27-Dec-1966
Height/Weight: 176/68
Birthplace: Kanagawa
Previous Teams: Sagami Tech. H.S.; Chuo U., Mitsubishi Red Diamonds; Urawa Reds
Appearances (J1/J2): 197/12 Goals:89/2
First Appearance: 16-May-1993 Urawa Reds -vs- Gamba Osaka (at Expo'70 Stadium)
First Goal :  09-Jun-1993 Urawa Reds -vs- Kashima Antlers (at Kashima Stadium)


Masahiro Fukuda never gained the level of stardom that some other leading players of his generation achieved, despite the fact that he was the first Japanese player to lead the league in scoring, and was the captain of Urawa Reds for nearly half of his decade-long career in Urawa. This lack of "stardom" says a great deal about the quiet and self-effacing Fukuda, who nevertheless endeared himself to teammates and fans alike, earning the nickname "Mr. Reds".

With 94 goals to his credit, over a ten year J.League career, Fukuda might easily have surpassed the century mark had it not been for a serious injury he suffered, virtually at the peak of his career. Fukuda scored 32 goals in 50 matches in 1995, leading the J.League, but injury caused him to miss all but four matches in the 1996 season. Nevertheless, Fukuda bounced back to score 21 goals in 1997 before age slowly began to catch up with him.

By 2002, the World Cup year in Japan, Fukuda was clearly nearing the end, and with several months left to go in the season, announced that 2002 would be his final year as a player. The outpouring of respect and thanks from fans around the league -- even those of Urawa's bitterest rivals -- was truly amazing.

Fukuda played his final match at the brand-new Saitama Stadium, near the end of 2002, in an exhibition match that featured dozens of the top players from the J.League's first decade. A packed house stood and chanted their signature "Get the Goal Fukuda" song, as he made two complete circuits of the stadium, followed by dozens of support staff who collected all of the flower bouquets that fans tossed to him. In a final gesture, Fukuda stopped just in front of the entry to the clubhouse, bowed one last time to the fans, and removed his cleats for the final time, tossing them one by one high into the stands, to provide two lucky individuals with a historic memento.

Fukuda continues to be a popular face for J.League fans, as a colour commentator on TV broadcasts. Though other players may have achieved greater feats statistically, few have won the hearts of fans as completely as Fukuda did with the Saitama Red Army.



Photo Year Team Uniform # Appearances
League / Cup
League / Cup
- 1993 Urawa Reds   27 4
- 1994 Urawa Reds   25 6
- 1995 Urawa Reds 50 32
- 1996 Urawa Reds   4 3
- 1997 Urawa Reds 29 21
- 1998 Urawa Reds

17 2
1999 Urawa Reds 23 0
2000 Urawa Reds 12 0
2001 Urawa Reds   14 5
2002 Urawa Reds   20 3
  TOTAL 179 94






22 Daigo Nishi

Position: MF
Teams: Consadole Sapporo Youth, Consadole Sapporo, Albirex Niigata, Kashima Antlers, Vissel Kobe, Urawa Reds
Matches (J1/J2): 306/46 Goals: 14/8
First Appearance:  2-Sep-2007 Consadole Sapporo -vs- Ehime FC (at Hakodate Stadium)
First Goal: 27-Oct-2007 Consadole Sapporo -vs- Ehime FC (at Ehime Stadium)


Daigo Nishi was born in Hokkaido, and came up through the Consadole Sapporo youth program, eventually joining the top team in 2006.

Nishi began to attract attention in 2010 when a move to Albirex Niigata allowed him to display his penetration skills and centering prowess over 41 matches. Kashima Antlers had been monitoring the young wingback for several years, and when future national team star Atsuto Uchida decided to move to Europe, the Antlers snapped up Nishi as their first choice replacement.

For the next eight years, Nishi was a regular fixture for the Golden Herd of Ibaraki, and he contributed to numerous titles including a league title in 2016 and an ACL crown in 2018. Nishi's passing skills and ability to hold the ball up in the high attacking corner were extremely valuable, though his defensive talent often was under-appreciated.

In 2019 Nishi took a move to Vissel Kobe, seeking a bit of late-career cash and a chance to play alongside Andres Iniesta. However after two years, Nishi returned to his original home town team, Consadole Sapporo, to finish out his career.



J.Soccer Magazine Interview

Daigo Nishi - 2020

Photo Year Team Uniform # Appearances
League / Cup
League / Cup
2006 Consadole Sapporo 0 / 0 0 / 0
2007 Consadole Sapporo 5 / 0 1 / 0
2008 Consadole Sapporo 27 / 7  3 / 0
2009 Consadole Sapporo 41 / 1 7 / 0
2010 Albirex Niigata

29 / 9  1 / 0
2011 Kashima Antlers 30 / 1 1 / 0
2012 Kashima Antlers 30 /15 1 / 0
2013 Kashima Antlers   29 / 9 0 / 0
2014 Kashima Antlers 23 / 3 3 / 0
2015 Kashima Antlers  30 / 6 0 / 0
2016 Kashima Antlers   26 / 9 1 / 0
2017 Kashima Antlers 30 / 3 1 / 1
2018 Kashima Antlers 23 / 7 3 / 2
2019 Vissel Kobe 29 / 7 0 / 0
2020 Vissel Kobe   19 /  0 / 0
  TOTAL 371 22

Page 13 of 13