Soccer in Japan
Interview About Soccer in Japan
What is Japanese football like?
In 1993 the Japanese league – J-League – was inaugurated, and from that year onwards, all the footballers who previously were part of amateur teams belonging to different companies became professionals.
How many teams belong to the J-League?
In 1993 there were ten teams, the following year two more were admitted, and in 1995 two were awarded. So in total fourteen teams make up the league at the moment.
In Spain, the league of the First Division begins in September and ends in March. Is it the same in Japan?
No. The Japanese league is divided into two stages. The first one starts in March and ends in July, and the second one lasts from August to December. All teams, in each stage, must play 26 matches, because each of them has to face 13 teams not only at home but also away. The champion of the first stage and the champion of the second stage play two matches and thus the league champion is determined.
The system of the Japanese League is quite different. Has the level of Japanese football risen a bit since the J-League began?
I think so. Before, Japanese footballers were amateurs and now they have to make a living playing well as professionals. We have also been joined by many famous foreign footballers, for example, Zico, Schillaci…
At the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Japan was a group with Brazil, Croatia, and Australia. We lost the first match to Australia, the second game was a draw with Croatia, the last team to Brazil was lost. Japan’s boss was Zico from Brazil.
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