Kazuma Watanabe

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Kazuma Watanabe
Kazuma Watanabe 2013.jpg
Watanabe playing for FC Tokyo in 2013
Personal information
Full nameKazuma Watanabe
Date of birth (1986-08-10) 10 August 1986 (age 34)
Place of birth Nagasaki, [1] Japan
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Position(s) Forward
Club information
Current team
Gamba Osaka
Number 39
Youth career
2002–2004 Kunimi High School
2005–2008 Waseda University
Senior career*
2009–2011 Yokohama F. Marinos 88 (28)
2012–2014 FC Tokyo 86 (26)
2015–2018 Vissel Kobe 114 (34)
2018– Gamba Osaka 12 (3)
National team
2010 Japan 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 2 December 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 January 2010

Kazuma Watanabe (渡邉 千真, Watanabe Kazuma, born 10 August 1986) is a Japanese footballer who plays for Gamba Osaka in the J1 League. He plays as a centre-forward and has previously had spells with Yokohama F. Marinos, FC Tokyo and Vissel Kobe. [2] [3]


His older brother Daigo Watanabe was also a professional soccer player with Kyoto Sanga FC, Omiya Ardija, Busan IPark and Kamatamare Sanuki. [4]

Club career

Watanabe made his J-League debut for Yokohama F. Marinos against Sanfrecce Hiroshima on 7 March 2009 and scored his first league goal. [5] He kept up his scoring exploits throughout the 2009 season and finished with 13 league goals which broke the previous record for a rookie player set by Shoji Jo in 1994. This earned him the young player of the year award 2009. During his next two seasons in Yokohama, he did not quite hit the heights of his debut year, but he did go on to amass a respectable 15 goals in 54 league games across 2010 and 2011.

Watanabe was transferred to FC Tokyo ahead of the 2012 season and in total he spent 3 seasons in Japan's capital. 2013 was a highlight for him as he bagged 17 goals in 33 league games to help the men in blue and red finish in eighth place in the final standings. However, his other two seasons with Tokyo were rather forgettable, he scored six times in 27 league games during his first year at the Ajinomoto Stadium in 2012 before finishing off his career in the capital by netting just three times in 26 league appearances.

This loss of form in 2014 saw him shipped off to join Vissel Kobe ahead of the 2015 campaign. The move west seemed to do him good as he was immediately back into double figures in terms of goals scored, ending the 2015 season with 10 goals in 28 league appearances. The following year was even better for him personally as he scored 12 goals in 33 league games, which helped Kobe to an impressive seventh-place finish in the overall standings in 2016. That would prove to be the pinnacle of his career in the port city as he followed it up with eight goals in 34 league games in 2017 before netting just four times in 19 games in the first half of the 2018 season.

Watanabe joined Gamba Osaka in August 2018 in a deal which saw Gamba forward Shun Nagasawa move in the opposite direction. [6] He made a scoring debut for the men in blue and black with a 27th-minute strike to break the deadlock in a league match away to Vegalta Sendai. Unfortunately for him and his team-mates his goal was not enough as Sendai fought back in the second half to finish as 2–1 winners. [7] He ended the season with three goals in 12 league appearances to help Gamba to a ninth-place finish in the final league table. [2]

International career

Watanabe made his full, senior international debut for Japan on 6 January 2010 in a 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Yemen. He started the match and was replaced in the 85th minute by Kensuke Nagai as Japan came from two goals down to run out 3–2 winners. [8]

Career statistics


Updated as of match played on 2 December 2018. [9]

ClubSeasonLeague Emperor's Cup J.League Cup AFC Other 1 Total
Yokohama F. Marinos 2009 34133484--4521
2010 2482061--329
2011 3075152--4010
FC Tokyo 2012 276103273103911
2013 33175141--4219
2014 2633140--334
Vissel Kobe 2015 28104387--4020
2016 33122273--4217
2017 3485460--4512
2018 1942053--267
Gamba Osaka 2018 1230000--123
2019 000000--00
Career total30091321656237310396133


Japan national team
2010 10



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  1. Kazuma Watanabe at J.League (in Japanese) OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  2. 1 2 "Kazuma Watanabe Soccerway Profile". Soccerway. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  3. "Kazuma Watanabe Gamba Osaka Player Profile". Gamba Osaka (in Japanese). Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  4. McKirdy, Andrew (9 August 2013). "FC Tokyo's Watanabe embracing challenges he faces". Japan Times. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  5. "Stats Centre: Kazuma Watanabe Facts". The Guardian . Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  6. "Gamba Osaka News – Kazuma Watanabe signing". Gamba Osaka (in Japanese). 13 August 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  7. "Vegalta Sendia vs Gamba Osaka 19 August 2018". J.League. 19 August 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  8. https://web.archive.org/web/20160319192137/http://www.japannationalfootballteam.com/en/players/watanabe_kazuma.html
  9. 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. 58 out of 289)