Tokyo Verdy

Tokyo Verdy (東京ヴェルディ, Tōkyō Verudi) is a Japanese professional football club based in Chōfu, Tokyo. The club plays in the J2 League, the second tier of football in the country.

Tokyo Verdy
Full nameTokyo Verdy 1969 Football Club
Founded1969; 52 years ago (1969), as Yomiuri FC[1]
GroundAjinomoto Stadium
Chōfu, Tokyo
OwnerTokyo Verdy Holdings
ChairmanYasuo Shimada
ManagerHideki Nagai
LeagueJ2 League
2020J2 League, 12th of 22
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Founded as Yomiuri FC in 1969, Tokyo Verdy is one of the most decorated clubs in the J.League, with honours including 2 J.League titles, 5 Emperor's Cups, 6 JSL Cup / J.League Cups and an Asian Club Championship title, and the most successful team in Japanese football history with 25 titles. The club was an original member ("Original Ten"[lower-alpha 1]) of the J.League in 1993.

Verdy's plays its home games at the 50,000 capacity Ajinomoto Stadium, which it shares with FC Tokyo, although many home matches are played in other stadiums in Tokyo, including the former Tokyo National Stadium.


Early years and rise to the top (1969–1983)

Verdy Kawasaki logo

In October 1968, following Japan's bronze medal triumph at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City and the massive interest in football that ensued,[1] Japan Football Association president Ken Nozu visited Yomiuri Giants chairman Matsutaro Shoriki to ask him if Yomiuri was willing to ride on the wave of the game by establishing their own football club. Shoriki died a year later, in 1969, but not before signing his name to the plans to establish Yomiuri Football Club.[2] Backed by the Yomiuri Group and NTV, Yomiuri Football Club firstly launched at Tokyo Local League B (5th tier) in 1969. They began gaining promotions from the Tokyo Local League to the Kanto Football League (3rd tier) in 1971. In 1971, Yomiuri marked 3rd place and promoted Japan Soccer League Second Division.[3]

At last, They were promoted to First Division in 1978, starting a long career of success in the top flight. Their first major title was the Japan Soccer League Cup in 1979.

Golden Era (1983–1994)

Ruy Ramos

From its days as Yomiuri FC, the ownership had visions of a football equivalent of the baseball Yomiuri Giants – a star-studded powerhouse with fans across Japan. As Japanese football began its transition from the JSL to the J.League in the early 1990s, it invested heavily in stars and featured Japan internationals Kazuyoshi Miura, Ruy Ramos and Tsuyoshi Kitazawa.[1]

The last two JSL championships as Yomiuri FC in 1990–91 and 1991–92, and then winning the first two championships as Verdy Kawasaki in 1993 and 1994, effectively winning four straight Japanese league titles making a total of seven overall; the highest in the Japanese system. Verdy also won the 1996 Emperor's Cup and three consecutive J.League Cups from 1992 to 1994.[4][5]

The JSL disbanded and reformed as the professional J.League in 1993. At this time the team professionalized and renamed itself Verdy Kawasaki, "Coined from the Portuguese "VERDE" meaning "Green" probably named after their green jersey colour "Tokyo Greens/Tokyo Verdi" .[6] Although Yomiuri was dropped from the name as the club spun off from the company, the team remained under Yomiuri's ownership until 1997, when it was acquired by Nippon Television Network, the broadcast arm of the Yomiuri Group.[7]

Lack of success and support (1995–2000)

1999–2000 crest

This early success did not last, however, and as the stars aged, the team's performance suffered. Verdy's 1st-place finish in the 2nd stage of the 1995 season would be its last stage victory and the 1996 Emperor's Cup would be its last major title of the decade. A downturn in the national economy and the cooling of the J.League fad meant all teams had to cut expenses. This meant Verdy could no longer buy expensive replacements for its aging stars.

The 1996 J.League season saw Verdy Kawasaki finish 7th place overall, the lowest standing in the league's existence at that point, and would fall further in the 1997 season, finishing 16th and 12th, in the 1st stage and 2nd stage, respectively, and 15th overall out of 17 teams. Although Verdy looked to return to prominence in 1999, finishing 2nd in the 1st Stage, the resurgence was short-lived as it fell to 10th in the 2nd stage.

Meanwhile, the team's efforts to become "Japan's Team" alienated local fans in Kawasaki. The expensive salaries and struggling attendance caused the club's debts to mount. Struggling to compete with the newly professionalized crosstown rival Kawasaki Frontale and the nearby Yokohama Marinos and Yokohama Flügels, Verdy made the decision to leave Kawasaki.

Return to Tokyo (2001–2005)

This crest was used until 2019 season

In 2001, the club returned from Kawasaki to Chōfu, Tokyo and was renamed Tokyo Verdy 1969 to reflect the new hometown and the club's origins as Yomiuri FC Although Verdy made the move to increase its fan base and distance itself from its rivals, by this time Tokyo was already home to a J1 club in FC Tokyo. Despite a sharp increase in crowd numbers for Verdy, this was still well below those of FC Tokyo. Their new local rivals had been promoted to J1 in 2000 and had already captured a vast number of the supporters Verdy had been hoping to acquire.

In its first year in Tokyo, Tokyo Verdy 1969 found itself trailing FC Tokyo in the standings as well, and finished last in the division at 16th in the first stage of the 2001 season. Only the play of midseason acquisition Edmundo and a win in the final match of the second stage saved the club from relegation to J2. Tokyo Verdy 1969 was back at the bottom of the table in the first stage of the 2002 season, but again finished the season strong, placing 4th in the second stage.

Two mid-table finishes followed in 2003 and 2004, before Tokyo Verdy 1969, under Osvaldo Ardiles, won the Emperor's Cup on 1 January 2005, its first major title in 9 years and the first in Tokyo. Winning the cup earned Verdy a spot in the 2006 AFC Champions League.[8]

However, the 2005 season saw Tokyo Verdy 1969 fall to its worst finish of its history, finishing 17th out of 18. This was the first season after the scrapping of the two-stage season format, and Tokyo Verdy 1969 were relegated to J2, after 28 years of top flight football. The season was marked by three huge losses in July: 1–7 to Gamba Osaka on 2 July, 0–7 to Urawa Red Diamonds on 6 July and a 6–0 loss to Júbilo Iwata on 17 July. Tokyo Verdy then sacked Ardiles two days later.[9] At the time of his sacking, Ardiles' team had conceded 23 goals in their last 5 matches and had a 9 match winless streak.[9] However, the struggling Verdy upset European giant Real Madrid (who were in Asia on a preseason tour), 3–0 on 25 July.[10]

Back in the second tier (2006–present)

For the 2006 season, the club appointed former Verdy Kawasaki legend, Ruy Ramos, as manager on 22 December 2005.[11] Tokyo Verdy 1969 found itself in the odd position of competing in the AFC Champions League while playing in the second tier of the national league system. After Tokyo Verdy 1969 was relegated, the club released many of the veteran players, leaving a core of young players, most notably Takayuki Morimoto, who became the youngest player to score in the J.League at age 15 in 2004.[12]

In the 2007 season, Tokyo Verdy 1969 managed to beat Thespa Kusatsu 5–0 on the first day. After a brief scuffle with Consadole Sapporo over the J2 title, Tokyo Verdy 1969 had to settle for runner-up – which was enough to earn promotion back into the top flight for 2008. At this time the club renamed itself for the second time, dropping 1969 from its team name, but the management corporation name remained as Tokyo Verdy 1969.

Verdy would once again be relegated after finishing in 17th place (second to last) in 2008.

On 17 September 2009, NTV announced it would divest itself of shares in the club and transfer it to a new holding company, Tokyo Verdy Holdings, closing 40 years of Yomiuri/NTV direct financial support.[13] The J.League approved the transfer, but made it a condition that Verdy find a new sponsor by 16 November or risk not being able to play J2 football for the 2010 season.[14]

In October 2010, Tokyo Verdy signed a five-year sponsorship deal with sports retail store and apparel company Xebio.[15] The sponsorship deal saw the Xebio logo placed on Tokyo Verdy's kit and includes naming rights for two regular season home games.[15] Xebio also produces the clubs football kit, although under their sports brand "Ennerre". After talks with Xebio, several companies decided to invest in the company and the new Xebio led administration was announced in November.

Other sports

Verdy is a polideportivo and also fields teams in women's football, volleyball, and triathlon. Tokyo Verdy's women's football team is the 12 time Nadeshiko League champions, 14 time Empress's Cup winners and 1 time AFC Women's Club Championship champions Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza.

Kits and crests

Tokyo Verdy's main colors are green.

The club's name was coined from the portuguese, or spanish, or italian, or Esperanto "verde" meaning "green", probably named after their green jersey colour, so the meaning is "Tokyo Greens/Tokyo Verdi".[6] In italian, the form "verdi" indicates the plural form "the greens".

Kit suppliers and shirt sponsors

PeriodKit supplierShirt sponsor
1997Nike, Inc.
2007KappaAmeba byCyberAgent
2010- /
2013- /
2014- /


Current squad

Updated May 26, 2021.[16]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK  JPN Takahiro Shibasaki
2 DF  JPN Masashi Wakasa
3 DF  JPN Seitaro Tomisawa
4 MF  JPN Ryota Kajikawa (On loan from Tokushima Vortis)
5 DF  JPN Tomohiro Taira (captain)
6 MF  JPN Rihito Yamamoto
7 MF  JPN Koki Morita
8 MF  JPN Haruya Ide
9 MF  JPN Yuhei Sato
10 FW  BRA Jaílton Paraíba
11 FW  JPN Ryoya Yamashita
13 MF  JPN Mizuki Arai
14 MF  JPN Taiga Ishiura
15 DF  JPN Boniface Nduka
No. Pos. Nation Player
16 DF  JPN Takayuki Fukumura
17 MF  JPN Koken Kato
18 MF  JPN Yuan Matsuhashi
19 MF  JPN Junki Koike
20 MF  JPN Mahiro Ano
21 GK  JPN Yuya Nagasawa
22 DF  JPN Seiya Baba
23 DF  JPN Daika Fukazawa
24 MF  JPN Yuta Narawa
25 FW  JPN Jin Hanato
26 MF  JPN Kyota Mochii
27 FW  JPN Ryoga Sato
28 DF  JPN Tatsuya Yamaguchi
31 GK  BRA Matheus Vidotto
33 MF  JPN Rikuto Hashimoto
41 GK  JPN Hisaya Sato
42 DF  JPN Kazuki Anzai (On loan from Sagan Tosu)

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
- MF  JPN Kanya Fujimoto (at Gil Vicente until 30 June 2021)
- DF  JPN Maaya Sako (at Fujieda MYFC until 31 January 2022)
- DF  JPN Tatsuya Anzai (at Azul Claro Numazu until 31 January 2022)



Champions Runners-up Third place Promoted Relegated
SeasonDiv.TeamsPos.Attendance/GJ.League CupEmperor's CupAsia
1992WinnerRunners-upCC2nd round
1993 J1101st25,235WinnerQuarter-finalCC4th place
1994 121st24,926Winner2nd roundCC3rd place
1995 142nd20,834Quarter-finalCCQuarter-final
1996 167th17,653Runners-UpWinnerCCQuarter-final
1997 1715th10,933Group Stage3rd round
1998 1812th13,338Group StageQuarter-finalCWCQuarter-final
1999 167th9,3792nd roundSemi-final
2000 1610th7,609Quarter-final4th round
2001 1614th19,3961st roundQuarter-final
2002 1610th15,128Group Stage3rd round
2003 168th17,563Group StageQuarter-final
2004 169th15,059Semi-finalWinner
2005 1817th14,716Group Stage4th round
2006 J2137th5,7053rd roundCLGroup Stage
2007 132nd7,3273rd round
2008 J11817th14,837Group Stage4th round
2009 J2187th5,5212nd round
2010 195th5,5722nd round
2011 205th5,7103rd round
2012 227th5,3413rd round
2013 2213th6,3433rd round
2014 2220th5,4302nd round
2015 228th5,6552nd round
2016 2218th5,4023rd round
2017 225th6,2062nd round
2018 226th5,9364th round
2019 2213th5,3712nd round
2020 2212th2,429Did not qualify
  • Pos. = Position in league
  • Attendance/G = Average home league attendance
  • 2020 season attendance reduced by COVID-19 worldwide pandemic
  • Source: J. League Data Site


With 7 league titles, 5 Emperor's Cups and 6 League Cups, Tokyo Verdy is one of the most decorated football clubs in Japan, although most of its titles came during their stay at Tokyo in the semi-professional era before the inception of the professional league - J.League.


Winners (7): 1983, 1984, 1986–87, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1993, 1994
Runners-up (4): 1979, 1981, 1989–90, 1995
Winners (2): 1974, 1977
Winners (6): 1979, 1985, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
Runners-up (1): 1996
Winners (5): 1984, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1996, 2004
Runners-up (3): 1981, 1991, 1992
Winners (4): 1984, 1994, 1995, 2005
Runners-up (1): 1997
Winners (1): 1990


Winners (1): 1987


Winners (1): 1994
Runners-up (1): 1995

See also



  1. "FIFA Classic Clubs – Tokyo Verdy 1969". FIFA.
  2. クラブサッカーの始祖鳥 読売クラブ [The archaeopteryx of club soccer -Yomiuri Club] (in Japanese). Tokyo Verdy. 2010. p. 302.
  3. 日本サッカーリーグ全史 [The complete history of Japan Soccer League] (in Japanese). Japan Soccer League. 1993.
  4. "Ten-man Tokyo Verdy lift Emperor's Cup". ESPN FC. 1 January 2005.
  5. "Tokyo Verdy: Trophies". Soccerway. 1 January 2005. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  6. "Club guide: Tokyo Verdy" (in Japanese). J.League. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  7. Ossie Ardiles (2010). Ossie's Dream: My Autobiography. Random House. p. 283. ISBN 0552159182.
  8. "Tokyo Verdy to play in AFC Champions League". AFC. 21 November 2005.
  9. "J-League club Tokyo Verdy sack coach Ardiles". AFC. 21 July 2005.
  10. "Real Madrid humiliated in Tokyo". 25 July 2005.
  11. "Verdy appoints Ramos as boss". The Japan Times. 23 December 2005.
  12. "Morimoto, 15, breaks J-League record". ESPN Soccernet. 5 May 2004.
  13. "Weak ad income prompts Japan`s Nipon TV to sell pro soccer club". Antara. 17 September 2009.
  14. "J.League to run Tokyo Verdy". The Japan Times. 30 January 2010.
  15. "Japan's Tokyo Verdy secure much needed sponsorship". SportsPro. 20 October 2010.
  16. "選手・スタッフ". Tokyo Verdy. 12 May 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2021.