Akira Narahashi (名良橋 晃, Narahashi Akira, born November 26, 1971) is a Japanese former professional footballer who played as a right-back. He earned 38 caps for the Japan national team between 1994 and 2003, including three games at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
|Date of birth||November 26, 1971|
|Place of birth||Chiba, Chiba, Japan|
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|1987–1989||Chiba Eiwa High School|
|*Club domestic league appearances and goals|
Narahashi was born in Chiba on November 26, 1971. After graduating from Chiba Eiwa High School in 1990, he joined Fujita Industries (later Bellmare Hiratsuka, Shonan Bellmare) playing in the Japan Soccer League Division 2. In 1992, Japan Soccer League was folded and the club joined new league Japan Football League. The club won the champions in 1993 and was promoted to J1 League. In 1994, the club won Emperor's Cup. In Asia, the club also won 1995 Asian Cup Winners' Cup.
Narahashi moved to Kashima Antlers in 1997. The presence of Jorginho at Kashima propelled his decision to move as he aspired to learn the trade under the Brazilian international full back. In 2000, the club won all three major title in Japan; J1 League, J.League Cup and Emperor's Cup first time in J.League history. The club won J1 League three times, J.League Cup three times and Emperor's Cup two times. From the mid 2000s, his opportunities to play decreased. At the end of the 2006 season, Kashima announced that they wouldn't renew his contract.
Narahashi returned to Bellmare in February 2007 but was released in August 2007. On February 1, 2008, he announced his retirement from professional football.
On September 27, 1994, Narahashi debuted for Japan national team against Australia. He competed with Hiroshige Yanagimoto for regular of right side-back. Yanagimoto got hurt in 1997, Narahashi became a regular. At 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification, Japan won the qualify for 1998 FIFA World Cup first time in Japan's history. In 1998, he played in all three matches at 1998 World Cup.
After 2002 FIFA World Cup, in October, Narahashi was selected Japan by new manager Zico for the first time in four years. He was also selected Japan for 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, but he did not play in the match. He played 38 games for Japan until 2003.
|Club||Season||League||Emperor's Cup||J.League Cup||Asia||Total|
|Bellmare Hiratsuka[a]||1990–91||JSL Division 2||25||5||1||0||–||26||5|
|Kashima Antlers||1997||J1 League||17||1||5||0||7||1||–||29||2|
|Shonan Bellmare||2007||J2 League||1||0||0||0||–||–||1||0|
- ^ "Fujita Industries" until 1994
- ^ a b c Japan National Football Team Database
- ^ "Narahashi reportedly to retire". The Japan Times. 2 February 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Akira Narahashi – FIFA competition record (archived)
- Akira Narahashi at National-Football-Teams.com
- Japan National Football Team Database
- Akira Narahashi at J.League (archive) (in Japanese)