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Albirex Niigata
Albirex Niigata logo.svg
Full name Albirex Niigata
Nickname(s) Albi
Founded 1955; 69 years ago (1955)
Ground Denka Big Swan Stadium,
Niigata
Ground Capacity 42,300
Chairman Daisuke Korenaga
Manager Rikizo Matsuhashi
League J1 League
2022 J2 League, 1st of 22 (promoted)

Albirex Niigata (アルビレックス新潟, Arubirekkusu Nīgata) is a professional football club based in Niigata, Japan. Formed in 1955 as Niigata Eleven SC, it was renamed Albireo Niigata FC in 1995, and Albirex Niigata in 1997. From 2023, Albirex will be playing on the J1 League, coming back to the first division after five seasons.

History

For many years it had been a local autonomous amateur club, Niigata 11, that could never hope to see the light of day in an old Japan Soccer League dominated almost entirely by company teams. The creation of the J. League spurred the club to rise, and in the 1990s it began climbing fast through the divisions.

In 1998, Albirex Niigata joined the Japan Football League, and was merged into the J2 league after its creation in 1999. The team gradually became competitive and in 2001 and 2002 it came close to getting promoted to J1 and in 2003, it became the champion of J2 and finally joined the top flight.

The team name is made from combining the star Albireo of the constellation Cygnus (the Swan) and the Latin word Rex meaning 'king'. In 1997, due to copyright issues, the team name was changed from Albireo Niigata to the current Albirex Niigata.

In 2007, the uniform colour changed. Until 2006, the uniform was orange – blue – orange, but in 2007 the color became orange – orange – orange. This coordinate has not been adopted since 1996 when the team professionalized.

The success of Albirex Niigata had a big impact on the entire Japanese sporting world, including professional baseball. It showed people were more excited than expected for sports in local cities without the population of the metropolitan area in the past, and local citizens feelings influenced many other sports in the region.

Team name transition

  • Niigata Eleven SC (Soccer Club) (1955)
  • Albireo Niigata FC (1995)
  • Albirex Niigata (1997)

Stadium

Bigswan080628
The Big Swan

Joining the J. League in 1999, its home towns are Niigata and Seiro. Until 2003, it used Niigata Perfectural Sport Ground as the home ground but since 2004, the team began using Niigata Stadium Big Swan as well and now plays most of its games there. In 2003, it set a record for highest attendance in the J. League with the cumulative total of around 660,000. Its practice grounds are Albirex's training facilities in Seiro Albillage and the Ijimino Sports Park (五十公野運動公園, Ijimino Undō Kōen) in Shibata.

The club plays its home games in the Niigata Stadium "Big Swan", which is currently called Denka Big Swan Stadium through a sponsorship deal. The stadium was opened in 2001, and has a capacity of 42,300. Prior to this the club had played its matches in the Niigata City Athletic Stadium constructed in 1938 with a capacity of 18,000.

The stadium was the site of two first round matches and one Round of 16 match in the past 2002 FIFA World Cup. It was also the venue for the 2009 National Sports Festival.

Record as J.League member

Champions Runners-up Third place Promoted Relegated
League J.League
Cup
Emperor's
Cup
Season Div. Teams Pos. P W (OTW) D L (OTL) F A GD Pts Attendance/G
1999 J2 10 4th 36 16 (4) 2 13 (1) 46 40 6 58 4,211 1st round 3rd round
2000 11 7th 40 11 (4) 5 18 (2) 54 63 9 46 4,007 1st round Round of 16
2001 12 4th 44 22 (4) 4 7 (7) 79 47 32 78 16,659 1st round 4th round
2002 12 7th 44 23 13 8 75 47 28 82 21,478 Not eligible 3rd round
2003 12 1st 44 27 7 10 80 40 40 88 30,339 Round of 16
2004 J1 16 10th 30 10 7 13 47 58 -11 37 37,689 Group stage 4th round
2005 18 12th 34 11 9 14 47 62 -15 42 40,114 Group stage Round of 16
2006 18 14th 34 12 6 16 46 65 -19 42 38,709 Group stage Round of 16
2007 18 6th 34 15 6 13 48 47 1 51 38,276 Group stage 4th round
2008 18 13th 34 11 9 14 32 46 -14 37 34,490 Group stage Round of 16
2009 18 8th 34 13 11 10 42 31 11 50 33,446 Group stage Quarter-finals
2010 18 9th 34 12 13 9 48 45 3 49 30,542 Group stage Round of 16
2011 18 14th 34 10 9 15 38 46 -8 39 26,049 Quarter-finals 3rd round
2012 18 15th 34 10 10 14 29 34 -5 40 25,018 Group stage 3rd round
2013 18 7th 34 17 4 13 48 42 6 55 26,112 Group stage 3rd round
2014 18 12th 34 12 8 14 30 36 -6 44 22,979 Group stage 3rd round
2015 18 15th 34 8 10 16 41 58 -17 34 21,936 Semi-finals 3rd round
2016 18 15th 34 8 6 20 33 49 -16 30 21,181 Group stage Round of 16
2017 18 17th 34 7 7 20 28 60 -32 28 22,034 Group stage 3rd round
2018 J2 22 16th 42 15 8 19 48 56 -8 53 14,913 Group stage 3rd round
2019 22 10th 42 17 11 14 71 52 -19 62 14,497 Not eligible 2nd round
2020 22 11th 42 14 15 13 55 55 0 57 5,361 Did not qualify
2021 22 6th 42 18 14 10 61 40 21 68 10,879 3rd round
2022 22 1st 42 25 9 8 73 35 38 84 14,954 2nd round
2023 J1 18 TBA 34
Key
* Pos. = Position in league; P = Games played; W = Games won; D = Games drawn; L = Games lost; F = Goals scored; A = Goals conceded; GD = Goals difference; Pts = Points gained
  • Attendance/G = Average league home attendance
  • 2020 & 2021 seasons attendance reduced by COVID-19 worldwide pandemic
  • Source: J.League Data Site

Current squad

No. Position Player
1 Japan GK Ryosuke Kojima
3 Australia DF Thomas Deng
5 Japan DF Michael Fitzgerald
6 Japan MF Hiroki Akiyama
7 Japan FW Kaito Taniguchi
8 Japan MF Takahiro Ko
9 Japan FW Koji Suzuki
11 Portugal FW Alexandre Guedes
13 Japan MF Ryotaro Ito
14 Japan MF Shunsuke Mito
15 Japan DF Taiki Watanabe
17 Russia MF Ippei Shinozuka (on loan from Kashiwa Reysol)
18 Japan DF Fumiya Hayakawa
19 Japan MF Yuji Hoshi
20 Japan MF Yuzuru Shimada
No. Position Player
21 Japan GK Koto Abe
22 Japan MF Eitaro Matsuda
23 Japan FW Yota Komi
24 Japan GK Takuya Seguchi
25 Japan MF Soya Fujiwara
28 Japan FW Ken Yamura
29 Peru MF Kazuyoshi Shimabuku
31 Japan DF Yuto Horigome (captain)
32 Japan DF Takumi Hasegawa
33 Japan MF Yoshiaki Takagi
35 Japan DF Kazuhiko Chiba
39 Japan GK Haruki Nishimura
47 Japan MF Jinpei Yoshida
50 Japan DF Daichi Tagami

Out on loan

No. Position Player
Japan GK Kazuki Fujita (to Tochigi SC)
Japan DF Shosei Okamoto (to Kagoshima United)
26 Japan DF Ryo Endo (to Iwaki FC)

Notable players

Technical staff

Position Name
Manager Japan Rikizo Matsuhashi
Assistant manager Japan Toru Irie
Japan Motoharu Watanabe
First Team coach Japan Yusuke Ogura
Japan Tatsuya Tanaka
Goalkeeping coach Japan Ryuji Ishizue
Technical coach Japan Yoshiro Akano
Japan Namito Ikesawa
Physical coach Japan Tsutomu Yasuno
Chief doctor Japan Satoshi Watanabe
Chief trainer Japan Seiichi Narahara
Trainer Japan Tetsuo Hasegawa
Physiotherapist Japan Takeshi Iokawa
Interpreter Japan Yu Kusayanagi
Chief team coordinator Japan Shuhei Ikekame
Team coordinator Japan Ryo Doi
Equipment manager Japan Kota Tamakawa

Managerial history

Correct as of 23 October 2022

Manager Nationality Tenure Managerial Record
League
Start Finish P W D L W %
Frans van Balkom  Netherlands 1 February 1995 31 January 1998 &&&&&&&&&&&&&036.&&&&&036 &&&&&&&&&&&&&028.&&&&&028 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&03.&&&&&03 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&05.&&&&&05 &&&&&&&&&&&&&077.78000077.78
Yoshikazu Nagai  Japan 1 February 1998 31 December 2000 &&&&&&&&&&&&&076.&&&&&076 &&&&&&&&&&&&&035.&&&&&035 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&07.&&&&&07 &&&&&&&&&&&&&034.&&&&&034 &&&&&&&&&&&&&046.&5000046.05
Yasuharu Sorimachi  Japan 1 February 2001 31 January 2006 &&&&&&&&&&&&0196.&&&&&0196 &&&&&&&&&&&&&097.&&&&&097 &&&&&&&&&&&&&040.&&&&&040 &&&&&&&&&&&&&059.&&&&&059 &&&&&&&&&&&&&049.49000049.49
Jun Suzuki  Japan 1 February 2006 31 January 2010 &&&&&&&&&&&&0136.&&&&&0136 &&&&&&&&&&&&&051.&&&&&051 &&&&&&&&&&&&&032.&&&&&032 &&&&&&&&&&&&&053.&&&&&053 &&&&&&&&&&&&&037.50000037.50
Hisashi Kurosaki  Japan 1 February 2010 21 May 2012 &&&&&&&&&&&&&080.&&&&&080 &&&&&&&&&&&&&024.&&&&&024 &&&&&&&&&&&&&025.&&&&&025 &&&&&&&&&&&&&031.&&&&&031 &&&&&&&&&&&&&030.&&&&&030.00
Nobuhiro Ueno (caretaker)  Japan 22 May 2012 10 June 2012 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&01.&&&&&01 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&01.&&&&&01 &0&&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00.00
Masaaki Yanagishita  Japan 11 June 2012 31 January 2016 &&&&&&&&&&&&&068.&&&&&068 &&&&&&&&&&&&&020.&&&&&020 &&&&&&&&&&&&&018.&&&&&018 &&&&&&&&&&&&&030.&&&&&030 &&&&&&&&&&&&&029.41000029.41
Tatsuma Yoshida  Japan 1 February 2016 27 September 2016 &&&&&&&&&&&&&030.&&&&&030 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&07.&&&&&07 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&06.&&&&&06 &&&&&&&&&&&&&017.&&&&&017 &&&&&&&&&&&&&023.33000023.33
Koichiro Katafuchi (caretaker)  Japan 27 September 2016 31 January 2017 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&04.&&&&&04 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&01.&&&&&01 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&03.&&&&&03 &&&&&&&&&&&&&025.&&&&&025.00
Fumitake Miura  Japan 1 February 2017 7 May 2017 &&&&&&&&&&&&&010.&&&&&010 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&01.&&&&&01 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&02.&&&&&02 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&07.&&&&&07 &&&&&&&&&&&&&010.&&&&&010.00
Koichiro Katafuchi (caretaker)  Japan 8 May 2017 10 May 2017 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 !
Wagner Lopes (caretaker)  Japan 11 May 2017 31 December 2017 &&&&&&&&&&&&&023.&&&&&023 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&06.&&&&&06 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&05.&&&&&05 &&&&&&&&&&&&&012.&&&&&012 &&&&&&&&&&&&&026.&9000026.09
Masakazu Suzuki  Japan 1 February 2018 7 August 2018 &&&&&&&&&&&&&027.&&&&&027 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&08.&&&&&08 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&05.&&&&&05 &&&&&&&&&&&&&014.&&&&&014 &&&&&&&&&&&&&029.63000029.63
Koichiro Katafuchi  Japan 8 August 2018 13 April 2019 &&&&&&&&&&&&&024.&&&&&024 &&&&&&&&&&&&&010.&&&&&010 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&06.&&&&&06 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&08.&&&&&08 &&&&&&&&&&&&&041.67000041.67
Kazuaki Yoshinaga  Japan 14 April 2019 31 January 2020 &&&&&&&&&&&&&033.&&&&&033 &&&&&&&&&&&&&014.&&&&&014 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&07.&&&&&07 &&&&&&&&&&&&&012.&&&&&012 &&&&&&&&&&&&&042.42000042.42
Albert Puig Ortoneda  Spain 1 February 2020 31 January 2022 &&&&&&&&&&&&&084.&&&&&084 &&&&&&&&&&&&&032.&&&&&032 &&&&&&&&&&&&&029.&&&&&029 &&&&&&&&&&&&&023.&&&&&023 &&&&&&&&&&&&&038.10000038.10
Rikizo Matsuhashi  Japan 1 February 2022 Current &&&&&&&&&&&&&043.&&&&&043 &&&&&&&&&&&&&025.&&&&&025 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&09.&&&&&09 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&09.&&&&&09 &&&&&&&&&&&&&058.14000058.14

Honours

  • J2 League
    • Champions (2): 2003, 2022
  • Hokushinetsu Football League
    • Champions (3): 1986, 1996, 1997
    • Runners-up (1): 1992
  • All Japan Senior Football Championship
    • Runners-up (1): 1995

Kit evolution

Home kits - 1st
1999 - 2000
2001 - 2002
2003 - 2004
2005 - 2006
2007
2008 - 2009
2010 - 2011
2012 - 2013
2014 - 2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
2022 -
Away kits - 2nd
1999 - 2000
2001 - 2002
2003 - 2004
2005 - 2007
2008 - 2009
2010 - 2011
2012 - 2013
2014 - 2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
2022 -
3rd kits - Other
2015 Cup
2016 3rd
2016 Cup
2017 3rd
2017
Summer
2018
Isao Honma retirement match
2020
ONE NIIGATA
Memorial Blue

Affiliated clubs

Since 2004, Albirex Niigata has selected a number of players for its satellite team in the Singapore Premier League. Albirex also has a women's team and joined L2 league (an equivalent of J2) in 2004. Albirex Ladies won the L2 title in 2006, and went on to join L1 in 2007.

The following clubs are affiliated with Albirex Niigata:

  • Japan Albirex Niigata Ladies (Japan Women's Football League)
  • Japan Japan Soccer College (Hokushinetsu Football League)
  • Singapore Albirex Niigata Singapore FC (Singapore Premier League)

In addition to the J-1 Albirex Niigata football team, there is a Niigata Albirex basketball club in the B.League, as well as a ski, snowboard, baseball, and track and field team. Even though the teams share the same name, the management and finances are completely separate for each team.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Albirex Niigata para niños

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