Club History

Yanmar Diesel FC (1957-1993)

1957 Founded in Amagasaki City as the company team for Yanmar.
1965 Original member of the new Japan Soccer League established this year
1967 Kunishige Kamamoto and Daishiro Nelson Yoshimura join Yanmar and the most successful period in the club's history begins with the following achievements:

League Champions: 1971, 1974, 1975, 1980
League Cup winners: 1973, 1983, 1984
Emperor's Cup Winners: 1968, 1970, 1974

Distinguished players

Kunishige Kamamoto (1967-1985 playing career)         

Kamamoto scores against Arsenal
The first Japanese league superstar. The striker was top goalscorer in the JSL six times and notched up a record 73 goals in 75 internationals for Japan. He was top goalscorer in the Mexico 1968 Olympics taking home a bronze medal. Kamamoto was very solidly built for a Japanese striker. He finished his playing career with 202 goals in 251 games for Yanmar. He achieved international fame and recognition for his goalscoring exploits. In 2005 Kamamoto was inducted into the Japanese Football Hall of Fame.

Kamamoto's retirement match for Yanmar

Daishiro Nelson Yoshimura (1967-1980 playing career)

Yoshimura with Pele
Born in Brazil, he became the first Japanese-Brazilian to play in the JSL. He retired with 30 goals to his name from 189 games in the JSL from his midfield position. His style of play showed that Japanese players are capable of Brazilian style skills. After retirement Nelson became a coach and eventually manager for the final Yanmar years helping the club prepare to change into Cerezo Osaka and turn professional. He also signed Hiroaki Morishima in 1991. For Cerezo he was a school coach and then scout before his untimely death at the age of 56. In 2010 Nelson was inducted into the Japanese Football Hall of Fame.

1993 Yanmar Diesel FC becomes Osaka Football Club in order to join the new professional league and uses the name “Cerezo Osaka”.

Cerezo Osaka (1993-present)

1993 Osaka Football Club is named Cerezo Osaka after a naming competition open to the public.      “Cerezo” means cherry tree in Spanish which is the official flower of Osaka. This inspires the team's unique colours.

1994 celebration with Yoshimura and Kamamoto
1994 Promoted to the J-League after winning the JFL championship.

Distinguished players

Hiroaki Morishima (1991-2008 playing career)

Morishima stayed with us for his whole career and can now be seen on Japanese TV talking football and representing Cerezo. He played for Japan 64 times and scored 12 times including one in Nagai Stadium at the 2002 World Cup. The next player to wear the number 8 would be Kagawa Shinji. A great professional and gentleman known as “Mr. Cerezo”. He started his career at Yanmar and finished with Cerezo with a league record of 455 appearances and 138 goals.

Morishi's goal seen on an Amiga 500?

After scoring...for a World Nagai Stadium

Akinori Nishizawa (1995-2009 playing career)

Nicknamed “Aki-goal” he helped Cerezo achieve some of their highest finishes in the J-League before retiring in 2009. He scored just over 40 goals in each of his two main spells at Cerezo interrupted by relatively unsuccessful stints in Spain and England. Nishizawa also represented the Japanese national side 29 times and contributed 10 goals. He also appeared at a World Cup with the 2002 Japan squad.

Notable moments
Cerezo have an odd habit of performing very well in the league one season followed by relegation the next. One of the most exciting and heartbreaking moments in the club's history came on the final day of the 2005 season. Five clubs had a mathematical chance of clinching the championship. Cerezo needed 3 points at home which we ended up drawing in the final minutes, horrible. Worse was to come in the form of Gamba Osaka (originally an offshoot of the Yanmar B team) winning the title. The next season we were in J2. This is exactly what happened in the 2000 season when we were top of the league on the final day of the season but finished in 5th (same as in 2005) and got relegated the following season. Recent changes have seen a focus on developing youth players interspersed with gambling on a endless supply of hit and miss Brazilians and some usually solid Koreans. Notable Cerezo alumni include Takashi Inui and the outstanding Kagawa Shinji who were instrumental in getting us back to J1 and qualifying for the Asian Champions League from finishing 3rd in 2010.

J League Record
(* = J2)

Year Position Attendance
1995 8 12097
1996 13 8229
1997 11 9153
1998 9 9864
1999 6 10216
2000 5 13548
2001 16 11857
*2002 2 7952
2003 9 13854
2004 15 14323
2005 5 17648
2006 17 13026
*2007 5 6627
*2008 4 10554
*2009 2 9912
2010 3 15026
2011 12 14145
2012 14 16815
2013 4 18819

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