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Kawasaki Frontale
Kawasaki Frontale logo.svg
Full name Kawasaki Frontale
Nickname(s) Grêmio from Japan
Azzurro Nero (Blue-black)
Founded 1955; 68 years ago (1955) as Fujitsu S.C.
Ground Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium,
Nakahara, Kawasaki, Japan
Ground Capacity 26,232
Owner Fujitsu
Chairman Yoshihiro Warashina
Manager Toru Oniki
League J1 League
2022 J1 League, 2nd of 18

Kawasaki Frontale (川崎フロンターレ, Kawasaki Furontāre) is a Japanese professional football club based in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo. The club plays in the J1 League, which is the top tier of football in the country. Their home stadium is Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium, in Nakahara Ward, in the central area of Kawasaki.


Todoroki 15031401
Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium

The club was founded in 1955 as Fujitsu Soccer Club. It was one of many city clubs that comprised the Japan Soccer League (JSL), including Yomiuri (later Tokyo Verdy 1969), Toshiba (later Consadole Sapporo) and NKK SC (now defunct). They first made the JSL Division 1 in 1977, only to be relegated the next season afterwards and would not return to the top flight until 2000, when they were first promoted to the rebranded J1.

The club co-founded the Japanese second tier three times under its three names: JSL Division 2 (1972), Japan Football League Division 1 (1992) and J.League Division 2 (1999).

Fujitsu's club became professional in 1997, and changed its name – "Frontale" means "frontal" in Italian. The club old crest and colours are based on those of Brazilian side Grêmio, because both clubs have cooperated since 26 March 1997. The club joined the second division of the J.League in 1999, and became the champion of the division. But in the next season, it sank to the bottom of J.League Division 1, and was relegated. In 2004, they were champions of J2 and won promotion to J1 for the second time. With the former rival city clubs out of the way due to relocation or liquidation, Frontale began building its power base in the city.

In 2006, they achieved runner-up position in J1, their highest league position up to that time. In 2007, this club attended the AFC Champions League, and made important success, as the first Japanese club for qualifying its group stage, before Urawa Red Diamonds. But Kawasaki lost in the quarter finals, against Iranian Sepahan, in a penalty shoot-out after two scoreless games.

At long last, after two other second-place finishes in 2008 and 2009, Kawasaki finally won the title in 2017, coming from behind to upstage bitter rivals Kashima Antlers after they were held to a draw at Júbilo Iwata, 16 seasons and 40 years after their first promotion to the top division.

Suddenly, Kawasaki started to create history on the J.League. No J1 team ever had won four titles on a five-year span. On 2020, they successfully won the J1 League with 83 points, staying 17 points clear off Gamba Osaka, the runners-up. They won the title with four games to spare, which was a record under the 34-match league format. With talents not being restricted to the starting XI, Frontale managed to get the best out of the five substitutions allowed by the J. League, per FIFA recommendation, instated after the COVID-19 outbreak. A good example was an stellar season by Kaoru Mitoma.

On 2021, Frontale continue to assert their dominance and display great performances throughout the season. They won their first title of the year in their very opening match of the season, after beating Gamba Osaka by 3–2 on the 2021 Japanese Super Cup.

Such rise of standards, eye-catching performances, and increase of national team level players coming from Frontale led foreign clubs to caught attention on their players. Among the most marking departures, Frontale saw two major talents leaving the club mid-season. The first one being Kaoru Mitoma, who got included in the 2020 J.League Best XI in his first full season as a professional despite playing less than half of his matches as a starter for Frontale, being signed by Brighton & Hove Albion of the Premier League. The second one was Ao Tanaka. The 2020 J.League Rookie of the Year which quickly earned his spot on the starting XI after turning professional, transferring to Fortuna Düsseldorf of 2. Bundesliga on loan, which later would have his deal turning permanent. They weren't the only departures leaving a mark on the team, as they followed Hidemasa Morita to Europe, as the latter went on to sign for Santa Clara of the Primeira Liga.

However, despite Frontale having their future performances being apparently threatened after these departures, the club went on to win the 2021 J1 League with a record-breaking season, which saw them: Winning the most points on a single J1 League season ever, with 92 points won on 38 matches; Achieving the least amount of losses on a J1 League season, registering only 2 losses in total (the first J1 loss only came 6 months after the season opening); Being the joint unbeaten team at home matches in a J1 League season, equalling Urawa Red Diamonds's tally on 2006; Being the first ever J1 team to win more than 80 points on consecutive seasons.

Leandro Damião, with 23 gols, was Frontale's individual highlight on the 2021 season, helping him win the MVP award, after being the joint league top-scorer and one of the players with the most assists of the tournament. The latter record was accomplished by another Frontale players, Miki Yamane, which also saw several call-ups for the National Team throughout the 2021 and 2022 season, alongside other Frontale players and formers players, like the team captain Shogo Taniguchi, and midfielder Yasuto Wakizaka. They joined many other players who previously were selected for the Japan national football team while playing at Frontale. Of the selected players, some players can be highlighted, like defender Yoshinobu Minowa, who was selected in 2005. After the 2006 FIFA World Cup, midfielder Kengo Nakamura and forward Kazuki Ganaha became new Japan internationals, especially Kengo Nakamura, who being a mainstay at club and country for a long time. Long-serving for the national team, goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima was also selected while at Frontale, making his debut on the 2008 East Asian Cup. Shuhei Terada, who played all of his 13-year professional career at Frontale, was also selected for the national team from 2008 to 2009.

After five consecutive seasons winning at least one major title from 2017 to 2021, Frontale remained trophyless for the entire 2022 season. Taking their previous overall season into account, the club went through an uninspired season, which saw early eliminations in all four competitions the club played that involved knockout-stage formats. On February, the club already saw their first match of the season resulting on a defeat, after losing 2–0 by Urawa Red Diamonds at the Super Cup. On April, the club was eliminated at the 2022 AFC Champions League at its group stage, finishing their group as runners-up, behind Malaysian champions Johor Darul Ta'zim. On June, at the Emperor's Cup, Frontale were unexpectedly eliminated, at the third round of the competition, after being defeated by J2 League club Tokyo Verdy by 1–0.

On the latter half of the season, Frontale continued an atypically poor run of form. On August, the club started their campaign at the J.League Cup, entering the competition late in the double-legged quarter-finals, after receiving a bye from the early stages of the competition due to their AFC Champions League qualification. The club played this quarter-finals against Cerezo Osaka, and was awarded the hosting rights of the tie's second leg. Despite not losing any of the two legs, Frontale didn't won any, either. At Cerezo, the match ended 1–1, giving a theoric relief for Frontale, who only needed a 0–0 draw or a win to proceed in the competition. Frontale started the second leg winning 2–0, with Marcinho scoring two goals at the 40th and 53rd minute. Surprisingly, Frontale collapsed at the dying minutes of the match, conceding two heading goals from Mutsuki Kato and Hiroto Yamada at the 90th and 95th minute, respectively.

Following the elimination at the J.League Cup, only the J1 League title was then available for Frontale to chase. Oscillating placements throughout the campaign, the club still managed to finish 5 separate matchweeks at the top of the league in the first half of the season. On the second half of the season, though, never again did Frontale get past the second place. Serving as a minor consolation for their season, the club held to a hardly-fought title chase alongside Sanfrecce Hiroshima (until the closing matchweeks). On December, at the 38th round, the last round of the season, Frontale were narrow 2 points away from first-placed Yokohama F. Marinos. A 13-goal difference was also in Frontale's way, meaning that in the more realistic scenario, Frontale needed to win their match and expect Marinos to lose theirs. Playing the 38th round against FC Tokyo, Frontale were early threatened with a red card, as Jung Sung-ryong was sent off a few minutes after Frontale's first goal. Despite playing the rest of the match with 10 players, Frontale still managed to win past FC Tokyo by 3–2. Playing against Vissel Kobe, Marinos won the match by 3–1, and then were handed the J1 League title. On the plus side, finishing as the league's runners-up led the club to qualify for the 2023–24 AFC Champions League, entering the competition in the group stage.

Colour, sponsors and manufacturers

Season(s) Main Shirt Sponsor Collarbone Sponsor Additional Sponsor(s) Kit Manufacturer
2018 Fujitsu - /
- /
Fujitsu BSC
SMBC Nikko Securities Fujitsu Fsas Fujitsu Marketing PFU Puma
2019 RENOSY Fujitsu BSC
2020 Fujitsu Marketing /
Fujitsu Japan
2021 Anker Japan Fujitsu Japan - /
Matsuo Komuten

Kit evolution

Records and statistics

Current squad

No. Position Player
1 South Korea GK Jung Sung-ryong
2 Japan DF Kyohei Noborizato (3rd captain)
4 Brazil DF Jesiel
5 Japan DF Shogo Taniguchi (captain)
6 Brazil MF João Schmidt
7 Japan DF Shintaro Kurumaya
8 Japan MF Kento Tachibanada
9 Brazil FW Leandro Damião (2nd captain)
10 Japan MF Ryota Oshima
11 Japan FW Yu Kobayashi
13 Japan DF Miki Yamane
14 Japan MF Yasuto Wakizaka (4th captain)
15 Japan DF Asahi Sasaki
16 Japan MF Tatsuki Seko
17 Japan MF Kazuki Kozuka
18 Thailand MF Chanathip Songkrasin
No. Position Player
19 Japan FW Daiya Tono
20 Japan FW Kei Chinen
21 Japan GK Shunsuke Ando
22 Japan GK Yuki Hayasaka
23 Brazil MF Marcinho
24 Japan MF Ten Miyagi
25 Japan MF Renji Matsui
26 Japan FW Takatora Einaga
27 Japan GK Kenta Tanno
28 Japan FW Taiyo Igarashi
29 Japan DF Kota Takai Type 2
31 Japan DF Kazuya Yamamura
32 Japan FW Shin Yamada DSP
33 Japan MF Yuto Ozeki Type 2
34 Japan DF Yuto Matsunagane Type 2
41 Japan MF Akihiro Ienaga

Out on loan

No. Position Player
30 Japan DF Shuto Tanabe (On loan at JEF United Chiba)
Japan DF Zain Issaka (On loan at Yokohama FC)
Japan DF Kaito Kamiya (On loan at Fujieda MYFC)
Japan MF Koki Harada (On loan at Nagano Parceiro)
Japan FW Taisei Miyashiro (On loan at Sagan Tosu)

Reserve squad (U-18s)

No. Position Player
1 Japan GK Kensuke Miyaji
2 Japan DF Sho Toda
3 Japan DF Yuto Matsunagane
4 Japan DF Kota Takai
5 Japan DF Hiyu Asaoka
6 Japan MF Kosei Suita
7 Japan DF Yamato Mizota
8 Japan MF Tatsuya Kawaguchi
9 Japan FW Kishin Gokita
10 Japan MF Yuto Ozeki
11 Japan MF Kyohei Okanoichi
13 Japan DF Kosuke Nobusawa
14 Japan MF Hotaru Otaki
15 Japan FW Yujin Kobayashi
16 Japan GK Kaito Fukuda
17 Japan MF Jo Ogawa
18 Japan MF Kota Yui
19 Japan GK Haruto Kikuchi
20 Japan FW Torataro Okazaki
21 Japan GK Tomoyasu Hamasaki
22 Japan DF Eiji Ehara
No. Position Player
23 Japan MF Mitsuki Naka
24 Japan MF Taiki Okada
25 Japan MF Kairi Shimura
26 Japan DF Akimasa Nakahara
27 Japan DF Yuto Takahashi
28 Japan FW Sodo Takahashi
29 Japan DF Minato Motoki
31 Japan DF Rio Tadokoro
32 Japan DF Shotaro Shibata
33 Japan GK Kensho Yamamoto
34 Japan DF Daiki Yamanaka
35 Japan DF Kaito Tsuchiya
36 Japan DF Umi Kajisa
37 Japan MF Yuta Saina
38 Japan MF Mikito Yagoshi
39 Japan MF Haruki Chiku
40 Japan FW Shuto Hatta
41 Japan MF Takeshi Katori
42 Japan FW Shotaro Kodama
43 Japan FW Hinata Masuda

Personnel awards

  • J.League Player of the Year
  • J.League Top Scorer
  • J.League Best Eleven
  • Japan Kengo Nakamura (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Japan Hiroyuki Taniguchi (2006)
  • Brazil Juninho (2007)
  • Japan Eiji Kawashima (2009)
  • Japan Yoshito Ōkubo (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Japan Yu Kobayashi (2016, 2017)
  • Japan Shintaro Kurumaya (2017, 2018)
  • Brazil Elsinho (2017, 2018)
  • Japan Shogo Taniguchi (2018, 2020, 2021, 2022)
  • Japan Akihiro Ienaga (2018, 2020, 2021, 2022)
  • Korea Jung Sung-ryong (2018, 2020)
  • Japan Ryota Oshima (2018)
  • Japan Miki Yamane (2020, 2021, 2022)
  • Brazil Jesiel (2020, 2021)
  • Japan Hidemasa Morita (2020)
  • Japan Kaoru Mitoma (2020)
  • Japan Kyohei Noborizato (2020)
  • Japan Ao Tanaka (2020)
  • Brazil Leandro Damião (2021)
  • Japan Yasuto Wakizaka (2021, 2022)
  • Japan Reo Hatate (2021)
  • Brazil Marcinho (2022)
  • J.League Rookie of the Year
  • Japan Ao Tanaka (2019)

World Cup players

The following players have been selected by their country in the World Cup, while playing for Kawasaki Frontale:

Olympic players

The following players have represented their country at the Summer Olympic Games whilst playing for Kawasaki Frontale:

  • Japan Hiroyuki Taniguchi (2008)
  • Japan Shunsuke Ando (2012)
  • Japan Riki Harakawa (2016)
  • Japan Ryota Oshima (2016)
  • Japan Ao Tanaka (2020)
  • Japan Kaoru Mitoma (2020)
  • Japan Reo Hatate (2020)

Club officials

Position Name
Manager Japan Toru Oniki
Assistant Manager Japan Shuhei Terada
First-Team Coach Japan Mitsuhiro Toda
Japan Yu Nikaido
Japan Yuki Yoshida
Goalkeeper Coach Japan Daijiro Takakuwa
Physical Coach Japan Yosuke Shinoda
Athletic Trainer Japan Seki Tomohisa
Athletic Sweat Shirt Japan Toshiyuki Tokorozawa
Japan Hiroyuki Otahara
Doctor Japan Hiroshi Iwaso
Japan Hidetaka Goto
Japan Shinji Matsubara
Japan Eisaburo Honda
Japan Kensuke Kimura
Trainer Japan Ibuki Yamaura
Japan Naoya Kinoshima
Scouting Japan Tatsuru Mukojima
Japan Yusuke Tasaka
Hopeiro Japan Ito Hiroyuki
Interpreter Japan Kazuya Nakayama
Japan Takanori Shirasawa
South Korea Kim Myong-ho
Thailand Narit Jampalee
Center Tsutomu Japan Shimizu Yasuhiro
Associate Tsutomu Japan Akito Kobayashi


As Kawasaki Frontale (1997–present)

As Fujitsu SC (1955–1996)

  • JSL Division 2
    • Champions (1): 1976
  • Kanto Soccer League
    • Champions (1): 1968

Managerial history

Managers of the club since 1997

Manager Nat. Tenure
Kazuo Saito  Japan 1997 (resigned in halfway)
Everaldo Pierrotti  Brazil 1997 (till the season end)
Beto  Brazil 1998–99 (resigned in halfway)
Ikuo Matsumoto  Japan 1999 (till the season end)
Zeca  Brazil 2000 (resigned in halfway)
Toshiaki Imai  Japan 2000 (after Zeca, resigned)
Hiroshi Kobayashi  Japan 2000 (till the season end)
Yoshiharu Horii  Japan Jan 1, 2001 – June 30, 2001 (resigned in halfway)
Nobuhiro Ishizaki  Japan July 1, 2001 – Dec 31, 2003 (after Horii)
Takashi Sekizuka  Japan Jan 1, 2004 – April 30, 2008 (resigned in halfway, by sickness)
Tsutomu Takahata  Japan May 1, 2008 – Dec 31, 2008 (till the season end)
Takashi Sekizuka  Japan Jan 1, 2009 – Dec 31, 2009 (returned)
Tsutomu Takahata  Japan Jan 1, 2010 – Dec 31, 2010 (returned)
Naoki Soma  Japan Jan 1, 2011 – April 11, 2012 (sacked in halfway)
Tatsuya Mochizuki  Japan April 12, 2012 – April 22, 2012 (interim)
Yahiro Kazama  Japan April 23, 2012 – December 31, 2016
Toru Oniki  Japan February 1, 2017 –

League history

  • Regional (Kanto Soccer League): 1967–71 (as Fujitsu)
  • Division 2 (JSL Div. 2): 1972–76 (as Fujitsu)
  • Division 1 (JSL Div. 1): 1977–78
  • Division 2 (JSL Div. 2): 1979–91
  • Division 2 (former JFL Div. 1): 1992–98 (as Fujitsu 1992–95; Fujitsu Kawasaki 1996; Kawasaki Frontale 1997–)
  • Division 2 (J2): 1999
  • Division 1 (J1): 2000
  • Division 2 (J2): 2001–04
  • Division 1 (J1): 2005–

Total (as of 2021): 20 seasons in the top tier, 30 seasons in the second tier and 5 seasons in the Regional Leagues.


Frontale's rivalry with FC Tokyo is known as the Tamagawa Clásico (using the Spanish word "Clásico" as used in derbies in Spain and Latin America). The two clubs first met in 1991 in the old Japan Soccer League Division 2 and were rivals for promotion to the J.League in the 1990s. They co-founded the new J2 League in 1999 and were promoted together the same year, and although Frontale were immediately relegated, they were promoted again in 2005 and have regularly met since then.

Frontale also has a Tamagawa rivalry with Tokyo Verdy 1969, which was originally also based in Kawasaki and moved to Chofu, Tokyo in 2000. The two were co-founders of the JSL Division 2 in 1972 and, although spent 20 seasons (1979 to 1999) in separate tiers, rekindled the rivalry in the late 1990s as Kawasaki fans deserted Verdy to support Frontale, seen as a more community-focused club, and since then their fortunes have reversed as Frontale is a top flight mainstay while Verdy sunk into the second tier beginning in 2005.

Other rivals include Kashima Antlers, Urawa Red Diamonds, Yokohama F. Marinos and Shonan Bellmare.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Kawasaki Frontale para niños

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