Akira Kaji

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Akira Kaji
加地 亮
Akira Kaji-2.jpg
Kaji with Gamba Osaka in 2010
Personal information
Full nameAkira Kaji
Date of birth (1980-01-13) 13 January 1980 (age 40)
Place of birth Minamiawaji, Hyogo, Japan
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position(s) Defender
Youth career
1995–1997 Takigawa Daini High School
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1998–1999 Cerezo Osaka 24 (0)
2000–2001 Oita Trinita 75 (3)
2002–2005 FC Tokyo 89 (1)
2006–2014 Gamba Osaka 225 (2)
2014 Chivas USA 15 (0)
2015–2017 Fagiano Okayama 86 (1)
Total514(7)
National team
1998–1999 Japan U-20 8 (1)
2003–2008 Japan 64 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Akira Kaji (加地 亮, Kaji Akira, born 13 January 1980) is a former Japanese football player. He played for Japan national team.

Contents

Club career

After graduating from Takigawa Daini High School, Kaji joined Cerezo Osaka in 1998. He made his first league appearance on 25 July 1998 against Avispa Fukuoka. At the club, he found it difficult to break into the first team and was loaned out to J2 League side Oita Trinita at the start of the 2000 season.

After spending 2 years at Oita, Kaji came back to J1 League in 2002 to play for FC Tokyo. The manager Hiromi Hara made him a regular and assigned a more attacking role. His club won the 2004 J.League Cup by beating Urawa Reds in the final which ended 0–0 after the extra time. The penalty shoot-out was required and his successful conversion as the last penalty taker for Tokyo finally broke the deadlock.

He was transferred to Gamba Osaka at the beginning of the 2006 season and scored in the beginning league match against Urawa Reds. He was selected as a member of the 2006 J.League Best XI. The club won the champions 2007 J.League Cup, 2008 and 2009 Emperor's Cup. In Asia, the club won the champions 2008 AFC Champions League and the 3rd place 2008 Club World Cup. From 2012, his opportunity to play decreased for injury.

After eight years with Gamba Osaka, Kaji signed with Major League Soccer club Chivas USA on 24 June 2014. [1] However, the club was disbanded in 2014, he returned to Japan and joined Fagiano Okayama in 2015. He retired end of 2017 season.

National team career

Kaji was a member of the Japan U-20 national team for the 1999 World Youth Championship finals where the team finished runners-up.

He gained his first cap for Japan national team when national coach Zico played him on 8 October 2003 in a friendly against Tunisia. He was rated highly by Zico who made him the first-choice right full-back. He was a member of the Japan team who won the 2004 Asian Cup in China. [2] In a 2005 Confederations Cup against Brazil, his goal was disallowed by a controversial offside decision. [3] His first goal for the country finally came on 17 August 2005 in a 2006 World Cup qualification against Iran. [4]

He made the final squad for the 2006 World Cup finals. In a preparation match against Germany just before the tournament, he injured his ankle when tackled by Bastian Schweinsteiger. [5] Zico considered his replacement but decided to keep him. He missed Japan's first game in the tournament against Australia with Yuichi Komano filling in for his place, but he returned to the team and played in the rest of the competition.

After the 2006 World Cup, Zico was replaced by Ivica Osim who also regularly picks him for the national team. He was a member of the Japan team for the 2007 Asian Cup and played all the Japan games in the tournament. On 20 May 2008 he announced retirement from international football. He played 64 games and scored 2 goals for Japan until 2008. [6]

Club statistics

[7] [8] [9]

ClubSeasonLeague Emperor's Cup J.League Cup Continental 1 Total
AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Cerezo Osaka 1998 1501011-171
1999 900000-90
Oita Trinita 2000 3432010-373
2001 4102040-470
FC Tokyo 2002 2011060-271
2003 2202060-300
2004 2203010-260
2005 2502000-270
Gamba Osaka 2006 291510050392
2007 2814160-382
2008 2605040110430
2009 200510010261
2010 320202060420
2011 300100060370
2012 160501050270
2013 38020400
2014 60000060
Fagiano Okayama 2015 36010370
2016 26100261
2017 24000240
Career total499738332134060811

1Includes AFC Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup.

National team statistics

[6]

Japan national team
YearAppsGoals
2003 10
2004 200
2005 141
2006 140
2007 111
2008 40
Total642

Appearances in major competitions

TeamCompetitionCategoryAppearancesGoalsTeam Record
StartSub
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship Senior0302nd place
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 2003 Confederations Cup Senior0Group Stage
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 2004 AFC Asian Cup Senior600Champions
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 2005 Confederations Cup Senior0Group Stage
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan East Asian Cup 2005 Senior02nd place
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification Senior1Qualified
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 2006 FIFA World Cup Senior300Group Stage

Goals for Senior National Team

#DateVenueOpponentScoreResultCompetition
1.17 August 2005 Yokohama, Japan Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 2–1Won 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification
2.17 October 2007 Osaka, Japan Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt 4–1Won 2007 Afro-Asian Cup of Nations

Personal honors

Team honors

Club
National Team

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References

  1. mlssoccer.com
  2. afcasiancup.com [ permanent dead link ]
  3. Brazil Squeaks Past Japan | World Cup 2006 | Deutsche Welle | 22.06.2005
  4. Japan National Team: WC2006 Qualification Match (Iran)
  5. BBC SPORT | Football | World Cup 2006 | Teams | Japan | Zico furious with Schweinsteiger
  6. 1 2 "Japan National Football Team Database". Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  7. Nippon Sports Kikaku Publishing inc./日本スポーツ企画出版社, "2017 J1&J2&J3選手名鑑 (NSK MOOK)", 8 February 2017, Japan, ISBN   978-4905411420 (p. 176 out of 289)
  8. Nippon Sports Kikaku Publishing inc./日本スポーツ企画出版社, "2016J1&J2&J3選手名鑑", 10 February 2016, Japan, ISBN   978-4905411338 (p. 199 out of 289)
  9. Nippon Sports Kikaku Publishing inc./日本スポーツ企画出版社, "J1&J2&J3選手名鑑 2015 (NSK MOOK)", 14 February 2015, Japan, ISBN   978-4905411246 (p. 183 out of 298)