30 years ago, the J.League officially kicked off. Verdy Kawasaki and Yokohama Marinos took the pitch at the Tokyo National Stadium on May 15, 1993 and, with that, the league was officially live.
In the three decades since, the league has brought spectacular football to Japan and grown the standard and quality of the sport across the country.
The Japan national team went from having never qualified for the FIFA World Cup to making it to six straight tournaments and defeating the likes of Spain and Germany on the game’s highest stage. Superstars like Zico and Iniesta, managers like Wenger and Scolari, and homegrown talent like Kazu and Kubo have shined in the league and seen their careers shaped by their time in Japan.
As part of the celebration of 30 years of J.League football, we have launched the #J30 campaign, which can be found at jleague.co/j30. It’s been a magnificent three decades of the J.League and we are thrilled to celebrate the best moments and most important heroes that made it so.