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Urawa Red Diamonds

Urawa Red Diamonds
Full name Urawa Red Diamonds
Nickname(s) Reds (レッズ Rezzu)
Founded 1950 (1950)
Ground Saitama Stadium 2002
Ground Capacity 63,700
Owner Mitsubishi Motors
Chairman Keizo Fuchita
Manager Mihailo Petrović
League J. League Division 1
2014 J. League Division 1, 2nd
Website Club home page
Old Crest

Urawa Red Diamonds (浦和レッドダイヤモンズ Urawa Reddo Daiyamonzu) are a professional association football club playing in Japan's football league, J. League Division 1. The club has been able to boast the highest average gates for fourteen of the J-League's twenty season history. This includes 2012's highest average of over 36,000. After the club began hosting games at the new Saitama Stadium in 2001, they could accommodate a sharp increase in crowd numbers, a boom which peaked in 2008 with an average of over 47,000.

The name Red Diamonds alludes to the club's pre-professional era parent company Mitsubishi. The corporation's famous logo consists of three red diamonds, one of which remains within the current club badge. Its hometown is the city of Saitama in Saitama Prefecture, but its name comes from the former city of Urawa, which is now a part of Saitama City.


  • History 1
  • International affiliation 2
  • Stadium 3
  • Facilities 4
  • Rivalries 5
  • Women's and Amateur Teams 6
  • Record as J. League member 7
  • Honors 8
    • Domestic Competitions 8.1
    • Continental 8.2
    • International 8.3
    • Individual Awards 8.4
  • Players 9
    • Current squad 9.1
    • Out on loan 9.2
    • 2013 Season Transfers 9.3
    • World Cup Players 9.4
  • Former players 10
    • International capped players 10.1
  • Managers 11
  • League history 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


Shin-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries established a football club in 1950[1] in Kobe and moved the club to Tokyo in 1958. In 1965 it formed the Japan Soccer League along with today's Sanfrecce Hiroshima, JEF United Ichihara Chiba, Kashiwa Reysol, Cerezo Osaka and three other clubs who have since been relegated to regional leagues.

Mitsubishi first won the JSL championship in 1969, as a break in Mazda/Sanfrecce's dominance (and also with the fact that Toyo were in Bangkok, Thailand, competing in the Asian Club Cup); their runs up the first division were sporadic but steady until the 1980s when they fell into the Second Division. In 1990 they were promoted as JSL 2 champions, and thus were ready when the J-League implementation began in earnest.

Mitsubishi were the first Japanese club to complete a domestic treble, when in 1978 they won the title, the Emperor's Cup and the Japan Soccer League Cup.

The club has enjoyed mixed fortunes since the J-League advent. The club finished bottom of the league for the first two seasons of the J-League with an average crowd of under 15,000. In 1999 they suffered relegation to the second tier of Japanese football yet again. The team has since improved in form in recent years, starting with a 2003 victory in the Nabisco Cup.

In 2006 Urawa clinched their first professional league title by defeating runners-up Gamba Osaka 3–2 on December 2 before 63,000 supporters. This came after two close calls in the previous two years. In 2005, they finished 2nd, one point behind champions Gamba Osaka. In 2004, they finished 3rd in the First Stage and won the Second Stage. Having qualified for the two-match J. League Championship decider, they lost on penalty kicks to Yokohama F. Marinos.

Urawa were back to back Emperor's Cup winners in 2005 and 2006. Winning the title for the first time since establishment as a professional team, they defeated Shimizu S-Pulse 2–1 on January 1, 2006, and retained the title in 2007 with a 1–0 win over Gamba Osaka. This win also completed a league-cup double. In the 2007 tournament they were defeated at the first hurdle by J2 outfit Ehime F.C..

In 2007, despite a seemingly unassailable lead of seven points with four games remaining, Urawa picked up only two points from their final four games. This run included losing at home to Kashima Antlers; the team who would leapfrog Urawa on the final day of the season to claim their fifth J. League title. Following their capitulation in the fourth round of the Emperor's Cup to J2 outfit Club World Cup of the same year, Urawa became the first AFC team to finish in third place, beating Tunisian Étoile Sportive du Sahel side on penalty kicks in the third / fourth place play off.

In 2008, Urawa attempted to win their second consecutive Asian Champions League title and progressed to the semi finals where they were defeated by fellow J-League rivals, and eventual Champions League winners, Gamba Osaka 3–1 on aggregate.

On March 8, 2014, a banner which read "JAPANESE ONLY" was hung at one of the entrances to the stands.[2] As punishment for this racist behavior, the March 23rd match was played in an empty stadium.[3]

International affiliation

The club is also notable in that former Feyenoord midfielder Shinji Ono began his professional career playing for Urawa. Ono returned for the 2006 season for a second stint with the club. Urawa is affiliated with German club FC Bayern Munich, whose nickname is also "The Reds".[4] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the chairman of the FC Bayern Munich, announced that "We have been looking for clubs which have potential ability, management stability and cordial confidence. We could fulfill the desire to affiliate with this great club, Urawa Reds."[5] Some other foreign clubs, such as Club Atlético Independiente, Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, VfB Stuttgart, Manchester United F.C., Feyenoord, Hamburger SV and Perth Glory FC, visited Japan and played friendly games at the Saitama Stadium.

In August 2004, Urawa appeared in a pre-season four-team friendly tournament, the Vodafone Cup, at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. The Japanese club, missing key players, lost their first game 5–2 against the Argentinian side Boca Juniors. The second fixture against the hosts, Manchester United, was called off due to a massive electric storm. Some 800 Urawa fans had travelled to the game and were later compensated.


International friendly match against Manchester United, July 30, 2005, Saitama Stadium

Since the establishment of J. League in 1992, the team had used tracked Urawa Komaba Stadium as its home stadium. Due to the increasing popularity of the matches, Saitama City, owner of the stadium, expanded the seat capacity some times. The team used Ōmiya Park Soccer Stadium until the works were complete. In spite of the poor performance of the team, the stadium was filled with faithful supporters, drew an average audience of twenty thousand people.

In October 2001, Saitama Prefecture built new soccer-specific Saitama Stadium in Saitama city. This stadium was used as a venue for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. After the World Cup the club has gradually increased holding its home games in Saitama Stadium and in 2003 the stadium was formally designated as the home stadium. In 2008, only two games were held at Komaba Stadium.


Urawa Reds has used Ohara City Field for its training. In addition to this facility, the club opened the Redsland in 2005, which have three grass fields, one artificial turf field, one baseball field, futsal fields and tennis courts.[6] The Redsland is opened to the public and club members can use the facilities at relatively cheap fees.


Urawa Red Diamonds has a local derby with Omiya Ardija, from Omiya-ku, Saitama city. They first met in the 1987 Emperor's Cup, with Mitsubishi defeating NTT Kanto by 5 to 0 at Nishigaoka National Stadium. The derby first took place in the JSL Second Division in the 1989–90 season, and it wouldn't take place until the 2000 season when Urawa was relegated to the second tier again. In 2003 the formerly separate Omiya and Urawa cities merged to become Saitama city, and since 2005 the derby became a top flight fixture after Omiya was promoted.

During the JSL years and into the 1990s, Urawa's main top flight rivals were JEF United Ichihara Chiba and Kashiwa Reysol, both now based in Chiba Prefecture. Because of their former parent companies' headquarters being all based in Marunouchi, Tokyo, the three clubs were known as 丸の内御三家 Marunouchi Gosanke ("Marunouchi Big Three") and fixtures between them were known as Marunouchi derbies, although the term is falling out of use as they are now based in different prefectures and rarely play home games in Tokyo stadiums.

Rivals further afield include Kashima Antlers, F.C. Tokyo, Yokohama Marinos, Kawasaki Frontale, and, even farther away, Gamba Osaka. Old JSL championship rivalries with Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Cerezo Osaka and Shonan Bellmare have ebbed down as those clubs had nadirs in the second tier.

Women's and Amateur Teams

The club also has women's and amateur teams.

Record as J. League member

Season Div. Tms. Pos. Attendance/G J. League Cup Emperor's Cup AFC FIFA
1992 Group Stage Semi-final
1993 J1 10 10 11,459 Group Stage 2nd Round
1994 J1 12 12 18,475 Quarter-final 3rd Round
1995 J1 14 4 19,560 Quarter-final
1996 J1 16 6 24,329 Group Stage Semi-final
1997 J1 17 10 20,504 Quarter-final 4th Round
1998 J1 18 6 22,706 Group Stage Quarter-final
1999 J1 16 15 21,206 Quarter-final 4h Round
2000 J2 11 2 16,923 1st Round 4h Round
2001 J1 16 10 26,720 Quarter-final Semi-final
2002 J1 16 11 26,296 Runners-up 3rd Round
2003 J1 16 6 28,855 Winner 3rd Round
2004 J1 16 2 36,660 Runners-up Semi-final
2005 J1 18 2 39,357 Semi-final Winner
2006 J1 18 1 45,573 Quarter-final Winner
2007 J1 18 2 46,667 Quarter-final 4th Round CL Winner 3rd Place
2008 J1 18 7 47,609 Group Stage 5th Round CL Semi-final
2009 J1 18 6 44,210 Quarter-final 2nd Round
2010 J1 18 10 39,941 Group Stage Quarter-final
2011 J1 18 15 33,910 Runners-up Quarter-final
2012 J1 18 3 36,634 Group Stage 4th round
2013 J1 18 6 37,100 Runners-up 3rd Round CL Group Stage
2014 J1 18 2 35,516 Quarter-final 3rd round
2015 J1 18 Quarter-final CL Group Stage
  • Tms. = Number of teams
  • Pos. = Position in league
  • Attendance/G = Average league attendance


Domestic Competitions

Mitsubishi (Amateur era)

Urawa Red Diamonds (Professional era)



Individual Awards

See Individual Award Winners (Urawa Red Diamonds)


Current squad

As of 20 January 2015.[8]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
No. Position Player
1 GK Shusaku Nishikawa
2 DF Kenichi Kaga
3 MF Tomoya Ugajin
4 DF Daisuke Nasu
5 DF Tomoaki Makino
7 MF Tsukasa Umesaki
8 MF Yosuke Kashiwagi
11 FW Naoki Ishihara
13 MF Keita Suzuki
14 DF Tadaaki Hirakawa
15 GK Koki Otani
16 MF Takuya Aoki
17 DF Mitsuru Nagata
No. Position Player
18 MF Shuto Kojima
19 FW Yuki Muto
20 FW Tadanari Lee
21 FW Zlatan Ljubijankić
22 MF Yuki Abe (captain)
23 GK Nao Iwadate (on loan from Mito HollyHock)
24 MF Takahiro Sekine
25 MF Shota Saito
27 DF Rikiya Motegi
30 FW Shinzo Koroki
31 FW Toshiyuki Takagi
33 DF Wataru Hashimoto
36 DF Takuya Okamoto
46 DF Ryota Moriwaki

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
No. Position Player
GK Norihiro Yamagishi (at Montedio Yamagata)
MF Shinya Yajima (at Fagiano Okayama)
MF Toyofumi Sakano (at Tochigi SC)
No. Position Player
MF Masaya Nozaki (at Avispa Fukuoka)
MF Naoki Yamada (at Shonan Bellmare)
MF Takuya Okamoto (at V-Varen Nagasaki)

2013 Season Transfers

World Cup Players

The following players have represented their country at the World Cup whilst playing for Urawa Red Diamonds:

World Cup 1998

World Cup 2006

World Cup 2010

World Cup 2014

Former players

International capped players



Manager Nat. Tenure
Takaji Mori  Japan 1993
Kenzo Yokoyama  Japan 1994
Holger Osieck  Germany Jan 1, 1995–Dec 31, 1996
Ove Flindt Bjerg  Denmark Jan 1, 1996–Dec 31, 1996
Horst Köppel  Germany Feb 1, 1997–Dec 31, 1997
Hiromi Hara  Japan 1998–99
Aad de Mos  Netherlands July 1, 1999–Dec 3, 1999
Yasushi Yoshida  Japan 1999
Kazuo Saito  Japan 2000
Kenzo Yokoyama  Japan 2000
Tita  Brazil Jan 1, 2001–June 30, 2001
Pita  Brazil July 1, 2001–Dec 31, 2001
Hans Ooft  Netherlands 2002–Dec 31, 2003
Guido Buchwald  Germany Jan 1, 2004–Dec 31, 2006
Holger Osieck  Germany Jan 1, 2007–March 16, 2008
Gert Engels  Germany March 16, 2008–Nov 27, 2008
Volker Finke  Germany Jan 1, 2009–Dec 31, 2010
Željko Petrović  Montenegro Jan 1, 2011–Oct 20, 2011
Takafumi Hori (caretaker)  Japan Oct 20, 2011–Dec 31, 2011
Mihailo Petrović  Serbia Jan 1, 2012–

League history

Excepting two seasons in which they were in the second tier, Mitsubishi/Urawa has always competed in the top flight, thereby being the club with the most top flight seasons total.

  • Mitsubishi (Amateur era)
    • Division 1 (JSL and JSL Div.1) : 1965-66, 1988–89
    • Division 2 (JSL Div.2) : 1989-90
    • Division 1 (JSL Div.1) : 1990-91, 1991–92
  • Urawa Red Diamonds (Professional era)
    • Division 1 (J. League) : 1993-99
    • Division 2 (J. League Div.2) : 2000
    • Division 1 (J. League Div.1) : 2001-
  • Top Scorer: Masahiro Fukuda with 152 goals


  1. ^ 浦和レッズ年表, Urawa Red Diamonds
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ partner Urawa seal domestic double, FC Bayern
  5. ^ 06.01.18 FCバイエルン・ミュンヘン(ドイツ)とのパートナーシップ締結について, Urawa Red Diamonds
  6. ^ レッズランド | 浦和レッズ, Urawa Red Diamonds
  7. ^ URAWA REDS LADIES, Urawa Red Diamonds

External links

  • (Japanese) Urawa Red Diamonds Official Site
  • (English) Urawa Red Diamonds Official Site
  • (Japanese) Urawa Red Diamonds Supporters Media Site (unofficial)
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Japan national baseball team
Japan Professional Sports Grand Prize Winner
Succeeded by
Ryo Ishikawa
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Champions of Asia
Succeeded by
Gamba Osaka
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