The 10 Top Goal Scorers For Japan Football Team All-Time

Top Goal Scorers For Japan Football Team All-Time: Are you interested in soccer and want to learn about how it’s experienced in Japan? Well, we have a list of the top goal scorers in the history of the Japan national soccer team. Even though soccer isn’t the most popular sport in Japan, it has a strong following, and Japanese players are increasingly making their mark in top international leagues. You might recognize some Japanese players who have achieved success.

It’s true that the best soccer players in the world usually don’t come from Asia; they often come from Europe, Latin America, or Africa. However, Japan is known for its determination and hard work, so it’s not surprising that young Japanese players have managed to stand out and achieve their dreams of playing for top soccer teams.

Since the early 1990s, Japan has been one of the strongest soccer teams in Asia. They’ve won the Asian Football Championship four times, making them the record holders. In 1998, Japan qualified for the World Cup for the first time, and they’ve participated in every World Cup tournament since.

Top Goal Scorers For Japan Football Team All-Time

There are many important Japanese soccer players, but this time, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 goal scorers in the history of the Japanese national soccer team.

1. Kunishige Kamamoto

  • Career Span: 1964–1977
  • Matches: 76
  • Goals: 75
  • Average: 0.99

Kunishige Kamamoto is the top goal scorer for the Japan national soccer team of all time. He participated in the U-19 Asian Football Championship in 1962 and 1963. Between 1964 and 1974, he played 61 international matches for Japan and scored 55 goals.

He shares the title of the best Japanese goal scorer with Kazuyoshi Miura. Kamamoto represented Japan at the 1964 and 1968 Olympics. In the 1968 Olympics, Japan won the bronze medal, and Kamamoto was the tournament’s top scorer with seven goals. Additionally, he competed in the Asian Games with Japan in 1966, 1970, and 1974. In total, he scored 75 goals in 76 appearances for the Japan national team.

2. Kazuyoshi Miura

  • Career Span: 1990–2000
  • Matches: 89
  • Goals: 55
  • Average: 0.62

Kazuyoshi Miura is the second-highest goal scorer for the Japan national soccer team. He played his first international match on September 26, 1990, against Bangladesh in Beijing. Miura scored his first goal for Japan two years later, in a 4-1 victory over North Korea, also in Beijing. He holds the record with the second-highest number of international matches. Despite his achievements, he never got the chance to play in a World Cup.

Miura’s time in the national team, which ended on June 6, 2000, with his 55th goal in a 4-0 victory over Jamaica, was marked by conflicts. He was often at odds with the coaches due to his perceived eccentric behavior, and these disagreements created tension, as the Japanese coaching tradition emphasized strict discipline and obedience.

3. Shinji Okazaki

  • Career Span: 2008–2019
  • Matches: 119
  • Goals: 50
  • Average: 0.42

Shinji Okazaki is the third-highest goal scorer for the Japan national soccer team. He started his international career by playing in the Summer Olympics in Beijing with the Japanese U-23 team in 2008. After making his senior national team debut against the United Arab Emirates in October of the same year, he became a regular starter during the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Despite his small height, Okazaki was known for his header strength and became the world’s top scorer in 2009 according to the International Federation of Football History & Statistics. He scored crucial goals, including the winning goal against Uzbekistan, which secured Japan’s early World Cup qualification. In the 2010 World Cup, Japan reached the round of 16 but was eliminated on penalties against Paraguay. Okazaki played a significant role, scoring a goal against Denmark in the final group game.

He continued his success with the national team, helping Japan qualify for the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar. Okazaki was the top scorer in the qualifiers, scoring six goals. In the final, Japan became Asian champions by defeating Australia 1-0 in extra time, with Okazaki scoring three goals in the tournament.

On March 29, 2016, Okazaki celebrated his 100th international match during a World Cup qualifier against Syria. He led the team as captain and was honored with a jersey featuring the number 100 on the back after the game.

4. Hiromi Hara

  • Career Span: 1978–1988
  • Matches: 75
  • Goals: 37
  • Average: 0.49

Hiromi Hara is the fourth-ranked player on the list of top goal scorers for the Japan national soccer team. He was born on October 19, 1958, in Kuroiso, Tochigi Prefecture. Hara had a career as both a football player and coach.

In 1978, Hara made his debut for the Japan national football team. He went on to play in 75 international matches and scored 37 goals for the team. During his time with the Japanese national team, they qualified for the Asian Games in 1978, 1982, and 1986.

5. Keisuke Honda

  • Career Span: 2008–2018
  • Matches: 98
  • Goals: 37
  • Average: 0.38

Keisuke Honda is the fifth-highest goal scorer for the Japan national soccer team. He has been a part of the team since 2008. Honda played a crucial role in Japan’s 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign, scoring two goals in the group stage. Japan qualified for the round of 16 but was eventually eliminated on penalties by the Paraguay national football team.

In 2011, Honda participated in the Asian Championship in Qatar with the Japanese team, which they won with a 1-0 final victory over Australia. Despite being injured in a game against Saudi Arabia and sitting on the substitutes’ bench, he was named the best player of the tournament.

In 2018, Honda was selected for the Japanese squad in the World Cup. He scored a goal in the second group game against Senegal, contributing to the 2-2 final score.

6. Shinji Kagawa

  • Career Span: 2008–2019
  • Matches: 97
  • Goals: 31
  • Average: 0.32

Shinji Kagawa is the sixth-highest goal scorer for the Japan national soccer team. Kagawa made his senior international debut on May 24, 2008, in a 1-0 victory over Ivory Coast during the Kirin Cup. He scored his first goal for the senior national team on October 9, 2008, in a 1-0 win over the UAE national team. He played in ten senior international matches and scored two goals by February 2010.

Although he initially canceled his participation in the 2010 World Cup, Kagawa was later announced as a reserve player for the Japanese national team. However, he did not join the squad for the World Cup tournament.

In 2011, Kagawa participated in the Asian Cup with Japan, but he got injured in the semi-final game against South Korea. He was diagnosed with a metatarsal fracture and had to take a break until matchday 33. He made a comeback as a substitute in Dortmund’s championship title celebration.

Kagawa was part of Japan’s squad for the 2014 World Cup, where they were eliminated after the preliminary round. He also played in the 2018 World Cup and scored the opening goal from the penalty spot in the opening game against Colombia, helping Japan secure a 2-1 victory.

7. Takuya Takagi

  • Career Span: 1992–1997
  • Matches: 44
  • Goals: 27
  • Average: 0.61

Takuya Takagi is the seventh-highest goal scorer for the Japan national soccer team. Born on November 12, 1967, in Minamishimabara, he had a successful career as a Japanese football player.

Takagi made his debut for the Japan national football team in 1992. He played a total of 44 international matches and scored 27 goals for the team. During his time with the Japanese national team, they qualified for the Asian Championships in 1988, 1992, and 1996.

8. Kazushi Kimura

  • Career Span: 1979–1986
  • Matches: 54
  • Goals: 26
  • Average: 0.48

Kazushi Kimura holds the eighth position in the list of top goal scorers for the Japan national soccer team. He is renowned as one of Japan’s most prolific goal scorers, having netted 26 goals in 54 appearances for the national team. Kimura played a significant role in Japan’s soccer history, especially during the 1990s, when the country’s golden generation emerged, leading Japan to its first-ever FIFA World Cup qualification in 1998.

Kimura’s journey began when he made his national team debut against Indonesia on May 31, 1979, while he was a student at Meiji University. He participated in crucial events like the 1980 Summer Olympics and the 1982 World Cup qualification matches. Notably, he scored goals in six consecutive games in 1985, setting a record for continuous scoring in the Japan national team.

In 1993, Kimura continued to make significant contributions to the national team, becoming a key player. His efforts were instrumental in Japan’s qualification for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, he was part of the Japanese team that won the Asian Cup Winners’ Cup Champions in 1991–92 and 1992–93, showcasing his talent and dedication to Japanese soccer.

9. Yuya Osako

  • Career Span: 2013–present
  • Matches: 57
  • Goals: 25
  • Average: 0.44

Yuya Osako plays as a striker for Vissel Kobe and the Japan national team and holds the ninth spot among the top goal scorers for Japan. Known for his aerial ability and finishing skills, Osako has made significant contributions to the national team.

In the 2018 World Cup, Osako played a crucial role for Japan. In the opening match against Colombia, he scored Japan’s second goal with a header, making Japan the first Asian team to beat a South American team in World Cup history. He also represented Japan in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, scoring four goals to help them reach the final, where they lost to Qatar 3–1.

Osako has scored a total of 25 goals in 57 appearances for the national team, earning him the ninth position in the list of top goal scorers. He continues to be a key player for both his club and the national team, making him one of the most important figures in Japanese football.

10. Shunsuke Nakamura

  • Career Span: 2000–2010
  • Matches: 98
  • Goals: 24
  • Average: 0.24

Shunsuke Nakamura is the tenth-highest goal scorer for the Japan national soccer team. He played his first international match on February 13, 2000, against Singapore. In 2002, he faced disappointment when he was not selected by the national coach for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. However, he made his mark in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Nakamura achieved significant success with the Japanese national team, winning the Asian Football Championship in 2000 and 2004. In 2004, he was named the tournament’s most valuable player. He was also part of Japan’s squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where they were eliminated in the round of 16 against Paraguay on penalties.

Nakamura appeared as a substitute in the group game against the Netherlands. Following the elimination, he decided to resign from the national team.

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