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Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Sanfrecce Hiroshima logo.svg
Full name Sanfrecce Hiroshima F.C
Nickname(s) Sanfrecce, Sanfre, Viola
Founded 1938; 85 years ago (1938) as Toyo Kogyo S.C.
Ground Edion Stadium Hiroshima
Asaminami-ku, Hiroshima
Ground Capacity 36,894
Chairman Shingo Senda
Manager Michael Skibbe
League J1 League
2022 J1 League, 3rd of 18

Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japanese: サンフレッチェ広島) is a Japanese professional football club based in Asaminami-ku, Hiroshima. The club plays in the J1 League, which is the top tier of football in the country.

Club name

The club name is a portmanteau of the Japanese word for three, San and the Italian word frecce, which means 'arrows'. This is based on the story of the feudal lord Mōri Motonari who told his three sons that while a single arrow might be easily snapped, three arrows held together would not be broken and urged them to work for the good of the clan and its retainers.

Former names

  • 1938–70: Toyo Kogyo Shukyu Club (東洋工業蹴球部)
    • 1943–46: Play was suspended during this period due to the Pacific War.
  • 1971–80: Toyo Kogyo Soccer Club (東洋工業サッカー部)
  • 1981–83: Mazda Sports Club Toyo Kogyo Soccer Club (マツダスポーツクラブ東洋工業サッカー部)
  • 1984–85: Mazda Sports Club Soccer Club (マツダスポーツクラブサッカー部)
  • 1986–92: Mazda Soccer Club (マツダサッカークラブ)


The club's home town is Hiroshima and the side plays at Hiroshima Big Arch and Hiroshima Prefectural Stadium. It holds training sessions at Yoshida Soccer Park in Akitakata, Hiroshima and Hiroshima 1st Ball Park.


As Mazda team

1965 Inaugural League Champion. Hiroyuki Kuwahara and Yasuyuki Kuwahara are brothers.

The club was a former company team of Toyo Kogyo Soccer Club (東洋工業サッカー部) in 1938 and played in the semi-professional Japan Soccer League.

The club was an original founder ("Original Eight") of the now-disbanded Japan Soccer League (JSL) in 1965. They dominated the JSL's early years, winning the title 4 times in a row – a feat that was later equaled by Yomiuri SC/Verdy Kawasaki. The name change was made at Mazda SC (マツダSC) in 1981. When JSL disbanded and became the J.League in 1992, it dropped the company name and became "Sanfrecce Hiroshima". Alongside JEF United Ichihara Chiba and Urawa Red Diamonds they co-founded both leagues ("Original Ten").

During the 1969 season they participated in the Asian Club Cup, forerunner to today's AFC Champions League; at the time, the tournament was done in a single locale (in that year it was Bangkok, Thailand), and they ended up in third place, the first participation of a Japanese club in the continental tournament. This also cost them the league title to Mitsubishi/Urawa, and although they won another title in 1970, since then the club has been out of the running for the title, with exceptional seasons such as 1994 when they won runner-up.


The Toyo Industries that became the first JSL champions also completed the first double by taking the Emperor's Cup. They were also the first of three "Invincibles", undefeated champion clubs in Japan (the others were Mitsubishi in 1969 and Yamaha in 1987–88), although only Toyo completed a double.

Matsumoto, Ogi, and Yasuyuki Kuwahara went on to win the 1968 Olympic bronze medal for the national team.


In 2002, Sanfrecce became the first former stage winner (first stage, 1994) to be relegated to the lower division, J2. But it only spent a year there, finishing second the very next season to regain promotion back to J1. The club finished 16th in the 2007 season and were relegated to J.League Division 2 after they were beaten by Kyoto Sanga in the promotion/relegation play-off. In 2008 they nevertheless won the J2 title at the first attempt, having 84 points (a difference of 25 points with the runner-up clubs) with six matches left.

By virtue of earning fourth place in the 2009 season and Gamba Osaka retaining the Emperor's Cup, Sanfrecce qualified for the Asian Champions League, where they were knocked out in the group phase.

On 24 November 2012, Sanfrecce defeated Cerezo Osaka 4–1 to seal their first ever J.League Division 1 title.

On 7 December 2013, Sanfrecce defeated Kashima Antlers 2–0, securing their second J.League Division 1 title following a thrilling finish to the season which saw first-place Yokohama F. Marinos losing their final league game, handing Sanfrecce the title. With their second consecutive title win, Sanfrecce became the second club to successfully defend their crown since Kashima Antlers in 2009.

2015 proved to be a great year for Sanfrecce, finishing 1st in the 2nd half of the season, then finishing 1st overall, just 2 points above Urawa Red Diamonds, to qualify and represent Japan in that year's FIFA Club World Cup. They would finish 3rd, after winning, 2–1, against Chinese side Guanzhou Evergrande in the 3rd place match.

In 2018, Sanfrecce seemed like they were going to win the J1 title, having lead the standings after Round 5, but fell down to 2nd to Kawasaki Frontale, made worse by losing 4 of their last 5 games. 2nd was where they would stay for the rest of the season, giving up the J1 title to defending champion Kawasaki Frontale.

Kit and colours


The main colour of Sanfrecce Hiroshima is purple.

Kit evolution

Record as J.League member

Champions Runners-up Third place Promoted Relegated
Season Div. Teams Pos. Attendance/G J.League
1992 Group stage 2nd round Did not qualify Did not qualify
1993 J1 10 5th 16,644 Group stage Semi-finals
1994 12 2nd 17,191 1st round Quarter-finals
1995 14 10th 11,689 Runners up
1996 16 14th 8,469 Group stage Runners up
1997 17 12th 6,533 Group stage 4th round
1998 18 10th 8,339 Group stage Quarter-finals
1999 16 8th 9,377 2nd round Runners up
2000 16 11th 8,865 2nd round 4th round
2001 16 9th 9,916 Quarter-finals 4th round
2002 16 15th 10,941 Group stage Semi-finals
2003 J2 12 2nd 9,000 4th round
2004 J1 16 12th 14,800 Group stage 4th round
2005 18 7th 12,527 Group stage 5th round
2006 18 10th 11,180 Group stage 5th round
2007 18 16th 11,423 Quarter-finals Runners up
2008 J2 15 1st 10,840 Quarter-finals
2009 J1 18 4th 15,723 Group stage 3rd round
2010 18 7th 14,562 Runners up 3rd round Group stage
2011 18 7th 13,203 1st round 3rd round
2012 18 1st 17,721 Group stage 2nd round 5th place
2013 18 1st 16,209 Quarter-finals Runners up Group stage Not eligible
2014 18 8th 14,997 Final Round of 16 Round of 16
2015 18 1st 16,382 Group stage Quarter-finals 3rd Place
2016 18 6th 15,464 Quarter-finals Quarter-finals Group stage Not eligible
2017 18 15th 14,042 Play-off stage Round of 16
2018 18 2nd 14,346 Group stage Round of 16
2019 18 6th 13,886 Quarter-finals 4th round Round of 16
2020 18 8th 4,545 Group stage Did not qualify -
2021 20 11th 5,920 Group stage 2nd round
2022 18 3rd 10,493 Winners Runners-up
2023 18 TBA
  • Pos. = Position in league
  • Attendance/G = Average home league attendance
  • 2020 & 2021 seasons attendances reduced by COVID-19 worldwide pandemic
  • Source: J.League Data Site

League history

Total (as of 2022): 51 seasons in the top tier and 7 seasons in the second tier.


As Toyo Kogyo SC and Mazda SC (amateur era) as well as Sanfrecce Hiroshima (professional era)



Winners (1): 2022
  • Japanese Super Cup
    • Winners (4): 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016
  • All Japan Works Football Championship
    • Winners (2): 1956, 1962
  • NHK Super Cup
    • Winners (1): 1967

Continental record

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2010 AFC Champions League Group H People's Republic of China Shandong Luneng 0–1 3–2 3rd
South Korea Pohang Steelers 4–3 1–2
Australia Adelaide United 1–0 2–3
2013 AFC Champions League Group G Uzbekistan Bunyodkor 0–2 0–0 4th
People's Republic of China Beijing Guoan 0–0 1–2
South Korea Pohang Steelers 0–1 1–1
2014 AFC Champions League Group F People's Republic of China Beijing Guoan 1–1 2–2 2nd
Australia Central Coast Mariners 1–0 1–2
South Korea FC Seoul 2–1 2–2
Round of 16 Australia Western Sydney Wanderes 3–1 0–2 3–3 (a)
2016 AFC Champions League Group F People's Republic of China Shandong Luneng 1–2 0–1 3rd
South Korea FC Seoul 2–1 1–4
Thailand Buriram United 3–0 2–0
2019 AFC Champions League Play-off round Thailand Chiangrai United 0–0 (aet)
(4–3 p)
Group F People's Republic of China Guangzhou Evergrande 1–0 0–2 1st
Australia Melbourne Victory 2–1 3–1
South Korea Daegu FC 2–0 1–0
Round of 16 Japan Kashima Antlers 3–2 0–1 3–3 (a)

Personnel awards




Current squad

No. Position Player
1 Japan GK Takuto Hayashi
2 Japan DF Yuki Nogami
3 Japan DF Tsukasa Shiotani
4 Japan DF Hayato Araki
6 Japan MF Toshihiro Aoyama
7 Japan MF Gakuto Notsuda
9 Brazil FW Douglas Vieira
10 Japan MF Tsukasa Morishima
13 Switzerland FW Nassim Ben Khalifa
14 Brazil MF Ezequiel
15 Japan MF Tomoya Fujii
16 Japan MF Yuya Asano
17 Japan MF Taishi Matsumoto
18 Japan MF Yoshifumi Kashiwa
19 Japan DF Sho Sasaki (captain)
20 Republic of Cyprus FW Pieros Sotiriou
21 Japan DF Jelani Reshaun Sumiyoshi
No. Position Player
22 Japan GK Goro Kawanami
23 Japan FW Shun Ayukawa
24 Japan MF Shunki Higashi
25 Japan MF Yusuke Chajima
27 Japan MF Takumu Kawamura
28 Japan FW Ryo Tanada
30 Japan MF Kosei Shibasaki
31 Japan DF Shuto Nakano DSP
32 Japan MF Sota Koshimichi Type 2
33 Japan DF Yuta Imazu
38 Japan GK Keisuke Osako
39 Japan MF Makoto Mitsuta
45 Japan MF Yuzu Kasagi Type 2
46 Japan MF Ryota Hatano Type 2
48 Japan GK Koshin Yamada Type 2
49 Japan GK Eiko Nagoshi Type 2
Japan DF Taichi Yamasaki DSP

Out on loan

No. Position Player
20 Japan FW Ryo Nagai (at Fagiano Okayama)
37 Brazil FW Júnior Santos (at Botafogo)
44 Japan MF Taishi Semba (at Fagiano Okayama)
No. Position Player
Japan DF Osamu Henry Iyoha (at Roasso Kumamoto)
Japan MF Kodai Dohi (at Mito HollyHock)
Japan MF Hiroya Matsumoto (at Zweigen Kanazawa)

Reserve squad (U-18s)

No. Position Player
1 Japan GK Eiko Nagoshi
2 Japan DF Arashi Daijomen
3 Japan DF Isshin Kuroki
4 Japan MF Kanata Nakamitsu
5 Japan DF Yuta Watanabe
6 Japan MF Ryota Hatano
7 Japan FW Haruto Takiguchi
8 Japan MF Yuma Ino
9 Japan FW Yuichiro Karashima
10 Japan MF Yuzu Kasagi
11 Japan MF Sota Koshimichi
12 Japan MF Ayuki Masutani
13 Japan FW Hayato Seno
14 Japan MF Michika Takashita
15 Japan MF Zento Torii
16 Japan GK Koshin Yamada
17 Japan DF Mikio Yamane
18 Japan MF Seiya Ishibashi
No. Position Player
19 Japan MF Yuki Kimura
20 Japan FW Sota Hamada
21 Japan GK Shunsuke Sawada
22 Japan MF Shin Takeyama
23 Japan FW Jo Tsunokake
24 Japan MF Kazuma Matsumoto
25 Japan MF Yotaro Nakajima
26 Japan MF Akashi Inoue
27 Japan MF Miran Ishihara
28 Japan DF Yutaro Aoi
29 Japan FW Hagumu Nakagawa
30 Japan FW Soma Hiroshige
31 Japan GK Airu Nakahara
32 Japan DF Fuga Kotani
33 Japan MF Hiroto Ukai
34 Japan FW Aren Inoue
35 Japan MF Hinata Hashimoto
36 Japan FW Shota Kofie

Club staff

Position Name
Manager Germany Michael Skibbe
Assistant manager Japan Shinya Sakoi
First-team coach Germany Serhat Umar
Japan Kenji Arima
Japan Yoshifumi Matsuo
Japan Masaru Misuno
Goalkeeping coach Japan Shinkichi Kikuchi
Physical coach Japan Mineichi Isobe
Medical advisor Japan Toru Kameo
Chief trainer Japan Shintaro Sato
Trainer Japan Hiroyuki Nomura
Japan Minoru Kimoto
Japan Tetsuo Tsuruoka
Physiotherapist Japan Wataru Kuriyama
Japan Yuma Saito
Interpreter Japan Ritsuro Nishimura
Japan Ugo
Competent Japan Tomohiro Mizuno
Japan Mitsunaga Hashimoto
Side affairs Japan Kohei Morita
Japan Shoki Mukai
Head of Soccer School Japan Kentaro Sawada


Manager Nationality Tenure Club Assistant coach
Yoshiki Yamazaki  Japan 1938–42, 1947–50 Toyo Kogyo N/A
Minoru Obata  Japan 1951–63
Yukio Shimomura  Japan 1964–71
Kenzo Ohashi  Japan 1972–75
Ikuo Matsumoto  Japan 1976
Aritatsu Ogi  Japan 1977–80
Teruo Nimura  Japan 1981–83 MAZDA Sports Germany Eckhard Krautzun (August – September 1983)
Kazuo Imanishi  Japan 1984–87 Netherlands Hans Ooft (1984–87)
Netherlands Dido Havenaar (1986–87)
Hans Ooft  Netherlands 1987–88 Netherlands Dido Havenaar (1987–88)
Kazuo Imanishi  Japan 1988–92 England Bill Foulkes (1988–91)
Stuart Baxter  Scotland 1 July 1992 – 31 January 1995 Sanfrecce Hiroshima Sweden Jan Jönsson (1993–94)
Wim Jansen  Netherlands 1 February 1996 – 31 January 1997 N/A
Eddie Thomson  Scotland 1 February 1997 – 31 January 2001 Scotland Tom Sermanni (1997–98)
Valeri Nepomniachi  Russia 1 February 2001 – 17 December 2001 N/A
Gadzhi Gadzhiev  Russia 1 February 2002 – 15 July 2002
Takahiro Kimura  Japan 16 July 2002 – 30 November 2002
Takeshi Ono  Japan 1 December 2002 – 1 April 2006
Kazuyori Mochizuki (interim)  Japan 2 April 2006 – 9 June 2006
Mihailo Petrović  Serbia 10 June 2006 – 31 December 2011 Serbia Ranko Popović (2006–07)
Hajime Moriyasu  Japan 1 January 2012 – 4 July 2017 N/A
Jan Jönsson  Sweden 10 July 2017 – 7 December 2017
Hiroshi Jofuku  Japan 7 December 2017 – 25 October 2021
Kentaro Sawada  Japan 26 October 2021 – 31 Feb 2022
Michael Skibbe  Germany 1 Feb 2022 – Japan Shinya Sakoi (2022–)

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Sanfrecce Hiroshima para niños

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