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J-League: Top 10 goalscorers of all-time

Published at :June 13, 2024 at 4:02 PM
Modified at :June 13, 2024 at 4:15 PM
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Manav Chowdhury

J-League has brought up several star footballers over the years.

Football has produced some of the best athletes the world has ever seen over the years, but the players who capture the public imagination best tend to be those who are capable of scoring goal after goal on the biggest stage.

The game’s greatest goal-getters have been made up of prolific poachers, aerial artists and talented technicians. Football is a sport where fans have enjoyed countless world-class finishers.

Japan are without a doubt one of the most influential football nations hailing from Asia. Founded in 1992, the J-League is one of the most successful leagues in Asian professional club football. The J-League has provided some of the best talents in the world. Here, we will take a look at the top 10 goalscorers from the J-League:

10. Kazuma Watanabe – 82 Goals

Watanabe made his J-League debut for Yokohama F. Marinos against Sanfrecce Hiroshima on 7 March 2009 and scored his first league goal. He plays as a centre-forward and has previously had spells with Yokohama F. Marinos, FC Tokyo, Vissel Kobe and Gamba Osaka.

Even though he performed well in the J-League he didn’t get many call-ups for the national team. as he only played once for Japan. Currently, he is playing in the J3- League the third tier of Japanese football for Matsumoto Yamaga FC.

9. Patric – 83 Goals

He is currently playing for Nagoya Grampus, he has played for many clubs in his career but his best time as a player has always been in the J-League.

He is 36-years-old and his best time in the J-League was for Gamba Osaka where he scored a lot of goals. He is adored by the fans and is a popular player in the league.

8. Edmilson – 96 Goals

Edmilson started his career playing for Palmeiras. In January 2004, he joined J1 League side Albirex Niigata on loan from Palmeiras. He had a short loan spell at Niigata and signed a permanent deal the next year. He played for the club, scoring 62 league goals in four seasons as a regular player.

Edmilson moved to J1 League rivals Urawa Red Diamonds in January 2008. He continued his successful career with Urawa, scoring 11 goals in 31 appearances. He ended up as the second-highest scorer in the league for the 2009 season, with 17 goals.

7. Juninho – 116 Goals

Earlier he used to play as an attacking midfielder, but later on started to play as a striker. He spent 10 years of his football career in Japan, where he played for Kawasaki Frontale and Kashima Antlers. In 2008, he revealed his intention to stay in Japan for the rest of his life and become a naturalized Japanese citizen.

However, he gave up on obtaining Japanese nationality since he found it difficult due to a lack of Japanese language ability. He was a player who was strong in duels and with his physicality, he was able to easily get past defenders.

6. Marquinhos – 119 Goals

He has spent his career playing mostly in the J-League 1, with his goalscoring prowess and Brazilian playing style making fans love him.

He became the J-League top scorer in the 2008 season with 21 goals, as Kashima Antlers won the title for the second year in a row. He has played for Yokohama Marinos, Kashima Antlers and Vissel Kobe. He even ended his career in the J-League.

5. Yoshito Okubo – 120 Goals

Okubo, from when he was playing for Cerezo Osaka, made an immediate impact and grabbed the attention of the people. In the 2002 season, he scored 18 goals and after that he consistently went on to score goals in every season.

After a brilliant season with Vissel Kobe, he went on to play for the Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg but unfortunately, he was not able to perform well. He made 60 appearances for the national team and netted six goals.

4. Yu Kobayashi – 120 Goals

Kobayashi is a versatile player who can play in various attacking positions. He can play as a winger as well as a striker. He is a legend for Kawasaki Frontale and the vice-captain of the team.

Till now, he has made 365 appearances for Kawasaki Frontale. He has played a crucial role in the success of the club and is very much loved by the fans and the club management. Kobayashi played 14 matches for the national team and has scored two times.

3. Ryoichi Maeda – 122 Goals

Currently, Maeda is the assistant coach for the Japan football team. As a player, he was known for his pace and ability to get past defenders with ease. His first professional goal came on 28 August 2001 in a J-League Cup game against JEF United Ichihara.

In the 2009 season, he was the J-League top scorer with 20 goals. In the 2010 season, Maeda became the top scorer again, netting 17 times. He was a player who consistently used to perform well. In 2020, he announced his retirement from football.

2. Hisato Sato – 134 Goals

His first league appearance came on April 15, 2000 against Júbilo Iwata. He scored his first J-League goal on March 21, 2001 against Júbilo Iwata. Even though he has retired from professional football, he was known for his attitude and humility on and off the pitch.

Sato made his international debut for Japan on February 11, 2006 in a friendly against the United States. He made 31 appearances for the national team and scored four goals. His playing style has often been described as similar to Filippo Inzaghi.

1. Shinzo Koroki – 142 Goals

In his prime Shinzo was one of the best players in the league. He is the leading goalscorer in the J-League and is known for his clinical finishing and near-perfect goalscoring ability. He made 16 appearances for the national team and has played for some of the biggest teams in Japan.

He played for Kashima Antlers and Urawa Red Diamonds. Even though he is now 37-years-old and mostly comes on as a substitute, he is still very much capable of hurting opponents.

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