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|Full name||Kashima Antlers F.C. Co., Ltd.|
|Founded||1947(as Sumitomo Metal FC)|
|Ground||Kashima Soccer Stadium|
|Manager||Naoki Soma (caretaker)|
|2020||J1 League, 5th of 18|
Kashima Antlers (鹿島アントラーズ, Kashima Antorāzu) are a Japanese professional football club based in Kashima, Ibaraki, part of the Greater Tokyo Area. The club plays in the J1 League, which is the top tier of football in the country.
Antlers is derived from the city name, Kashima, which literally means "deer island". The club has financial backing from Mercari, a Japanese e-commerce company.
Since the J.League's creation and introduction of professional Japanese football in 1993, Kashima have proved by far Japan's most successful football club, having won the J.League title a record eight times, the J.League Cup a record six times and the Emperor's Cup five times for an unprecedented total of nineteen major domestic titles. Kashima became Asian Champions when they won their first AFC Champions League title in 2018. Kashima have finished in the top five of the league for over seventy percent of all seasons played to date, recorded an average end of season league placing of third and captured a title in over sixty percent of all seasons played to date.
Kashima are also one of only two clubs to have competed in Japan's top flight of professional football every year since its inception (the other being Yokohama F. Marinos).
The name ‘Antlers’ is derived from the city of Kashima, which literally translates to ‘Deer Island’. The club crest not only resembles deer antlers but it also reflects the image of rose thorn as it is the official flower of Ibaraki, the home prefecture of the club. Deer are amiable animals and are viewed in some religions as spiritual messengers. In fact, Kashima Shrine, one of the most famous shrines in Japan and located in close proximity to the club headquarters, have kept and raised deer for more than 1,300 years as spiritual symbol. Deer are affectionate animals but are also known for their courageous character as they battle each other head to head with lethal antlers.
Founded in 1947 as Sumitomo Metal Industries Factory Football Club in Osaka and moved to Kashima, Ibaraki in 1975. It played in the semi-professional Japan Soccer League (JSL). They were promoted to the JSL's top flight in 1984, but never made much of an impact, going down in 1985/86, returning in 1986/87 and going down again in 1988/89. Its last standing in the JSL was 2nd in the Second Division for 1991/92.
After the formation of the fully professional J.League, Sumitomo, like all other clubs, stripped the corporate brand from the club's name and reformed as the Kashima Antlers. Kashima was essentially promoted to the new top flight, as many JSL First Division clubs decided to relegate themselves being unprepared for professionalism. (Of the original 10J.League founding member clubs, Kashima and Shimizu S-Pulse were newly promoted. Ironically, Kashima had defeated a forerunner of Shimizu's, Nippon Light Metal/Hagoromo Club, to earn its JSL Second Division place back in 1974).
Since the J.League's creation and introduction of professional Japanese football in 1993, Kashima have consistently been amongst the strongest clubs in the country, holding several distinctions and records. Led by former Brazilian star and Japanese national team coach Zico in the club's formative years, Kashima were the first club to win a J.League stage, claiming the 1st stage of the inaugural season in 1993. This laid a platform for continuous greatness and long after the Kashima icon had departed, in 2000 Kashima became the first J.League club to achieve the "treble", by winning all three major titles: J.League, J.League Cup, and Emperor's Cup in the same year.
In recent times, by clinching the 2007 J.League title they became the first and only club in Japan to have won ten domestic titles in the professional era. In 2008 they became the first and only club to successfully defend the J.League title on two separate occasions. In 2009 they became the first and only club to win three consecutive J.League titles. With victories in back to back J.League Cups in 2011, 2012 and most recently followed by their 2015 victory, Kashima extended their unmatched record of major domestic titles in the professional era to seventeen.
To this day, Kashima has maintained strong ties with the football community in Brazil, a fact borne out of Zico's past affiliation with the club. Kashima's Brazilian connection has manifested itself in both the club's player transfer and coaching policy resulting in only three non-Brazilian foreign players and predominantly Brazilian managers signing for Kashima since the inception of the J.League.
The population of Kashima city is a mere 60,000 and for that reason club has also adopted the surrounding cities of Itako, Kamisu, Namegata and Hokota as its official hometowns, all in Ibaraki Prefecture. The combined population of five cities is 280,000. Antlers home games are played at Kashima Soccer Stadium, one of the 2002 FIFA World Cup venues with capacity of 40,000.
In 2016, they became the first Asian club to reach the FIFA Club World Cup final following a 3–0 victory over South American champions Atlético Nacional.In the final, after a 2–2 draw against European champions Real Madrid after 90 minutes, they were beaten 4–2 after extra time.
|Season(s)||Main Shirt Sponsor||Collarbone Sponsor||Additional Sponsor(s)||Kit Manufacturer|
|2018||Lixil||Mercari||Yellow Hat||Riso Kagaku Corporation||Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal||Eyeful Home||-||Nike|
|2000||Glory Again – 原点からの挑戦 –|
|2001||- 勝利主義 Antlersism – FOR NEXT 10 YEARS|
|2002||- 進化 Antlersism – STAIRWAY TO THE WORLD|
|2003||OVER'03 – カシマからアジア、そして世界へ –|
|2004||FOOTBALL DREAM 2004 – 奪冠10 –|
|2005||FOOTBALL DREAM 2005 – 反撃宣言 –|
|2006||FOOTBALL DREAM 2006 – 一新制覇 –|
|2007||FOOTBALL DREAM'07 – 魂 Spirits –|
|2008||FOOTBALL DREAM 2008 – DESAFIO 挑戦 –|
|2009||FOOTBALL DREAM 2009 – PROGRESSO 飛躍 –|
|2010||FOOTBALL DREAM 2010 – Evolução 新化 –|
|2011||FOOTBALL DREAM NEXT|
|2012||SMILE AGAIN with PRIDE|
|2013||RENASCIMENTO – 誇りを胸に –|
|2014||SPECTACLE – 戦 –|
|2015||RISE TO THE CHALLENGE – 覚悟 –|
|2016||FOOTBALL DREAM ともに|
|2017||FOOTBALL DREAM つなぐ|
|2018||FOOTBALL DREAM こえる|
|2019||FOOTBALL DREAM かわる|
|2020||FOOTBALL DREAM みせる|
List of Sponsors
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Assistant coach||Carlos Pacheco|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Yohei Sato|
|Masakatsu Miyamoto||Japan||January 1992 – June 1994|
|Edu||Brazil||June 1994 – December 1995|
|João Carlos||Brazil||January 1996 – July 1998|
|Takashi Sekizuka (interim)||Japan||July 1998|
|Zé Mário||Brazil||July 1998 – August 1999|
|Takashi Sekizuka (interim)||Japan||August 1999|
|Zico (interim)||Brazil||20 August 1999 – 31 December 1999|
|Toninho Cerezo||Brazil||1 January 2000 – 30 December 2005|
|Paulo Autuori||Brazil||31 December 2005 – 29 November 2006|
|Oswaldo de Oliveira||Brazil||1 January 2007 – 31 December 2011|
|Jorginho||Brazil||1 January 2012 – 31 December 2012|
|Toninho Cerezo||Brazil||1 January 2013 – 22 July 2015|
|Masatada Ishii||Japan||23 July 2015 – 31 May 2017|
|Go Oiwa||Japan||31 May 2017 – 1 January 2020|
|Antônio Carlos Zago||Brazil||2 January 2020 - 3 April 2021|
|Naoki Soma (interim)||Japan||7 Apri 2021 - as of today|
|Season||Div.||Tms.||Pos.||Avg. Attd.||Emperor's Cup||J.League Cup||Super Cup||Asia||Others|
|1994||12||3th||16,812||1st round||1st round||–||–||–||–||–|
|1999||16||9th||17,049||4th round||Runners-up||Winner||CWC||3rd Place||–||–|
|2009||18||1st||21,617||Quarterfinal||Quarterfinal||Winner||CL||Round of 16||–||–|
|2010||18||4th||20,966||Winner||Quarterfinal||Winner||CL||Round of 16||–||–|
|2011||18||6th||16,156||4th round||Winner||Runners-up||CL||Round of 16||–||–|
|2014||18||3rd||17,665||2nd round||Group Stage||–||–||–||–||–|
|2015||18||5th||16,423||3rd round||Winner||–||CL||Group Stage||–||–|
|2017||18||2nd||20,467||Quarterfinal||Quarterfinal||Winner||CL||Round of 16||–||–|
The following players have been selected by their country in the World Cup, while playing for Kashima Antlers:
The following players have represented their country at the Summer Olympic Games whilst playing for Kashima Antlers:
In the Captain Tsubasa manga series, two characters were players of Kashima Antlers. The Brazilian midfielders Luciano Leo (himself loosely based on Leonardo) and Pepe were colleagues of Flamengo's Carlos Santana and São Paulo FC's Tsubasa Ozora.
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