Urawa Red Diamonds (浦和レッドダイヤモンズ, Urawa Reddo Daiyamonzu), colloquially Urawa Reds (浦和レッズ, Urawa Rezzu), also known as Mitsubishi Urawa Football Club from April 1992 to January 1996, is a professional football club in the city of Saitama, part of the Greater Tokyo Area in Japan. The club plays in the J1 League, the top tier of football in the country. Its name comes from the former city of Urawa, now part of Saitama.

Urawa Reds
Full nameUrawa Red Diamonds
Nickname(s)Reds (レッズ, Rezzu) / Red Devils (赤い悪魔, Akai Akuma)
Founded1950; 73 years ago (1950) as Mitsubishi Motors FC
StadiumSaitama Stadium 2002
OwnerMitsubishi Heavy Industries
ChairmanKeizo Fuchita
ManagerMaciej Skorża
LeagueJ1 League
2022J1 League, 9th of 18
WebsiteClub website
Current season

The name Red Diamonds alludes to the club's pre-professional era parent company Mitsubishi. The corporation's logo consists of three red diamonds, one of which remains within the current club badge.

History Edit

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries established a football club in 1950[1] in Kobe and moved the club to Tokyo in 1958. In 1965 it formed the Japan Soccer League (JSL) along with today's JEF United Chiba, Kashiwa Reysol, Cerezo Osaka, Sanfrecce Hiroshima and three other clubs who have since been relegated to regional leagues ("Original Eight"[a]).

Mitsubishi first won the JSL championship in 1969, as a break in Mazda/Sanfrecce's dominance (and also with the fact that Toyo were in Bangkok, Thailand, competing in the Asian Club Cup); their runs up the first division were sporadic but steady until the 1980s when they fell into the Second Division. In 1990 they were promoted as JSL Division 2 champions, and thus were ready when the J-League implementation began in earnest. Urawa Red Diamonds was an original member ("Original Ten"[b]) of the J.League in 1993.

Mitsubishi were the first Japanese club to complete a domestic treble, when in 1978 they won the title, the Emperor's Cup and the Japan Soccer League Cup.

The club has enjoyed mixed fortunes since the J-League advent. The club finished bottom of the league for the first two seasons of the J-League with an average crowd of under 15,000. In 1999 they suffered relegation to the second tier of Japanese football yet again. The club has since improved in form in recent years, starting with a 2003 victory in the Nabisco Cup.

In 2006 Urawa clinched their first professional league title by defeating runners-up Gamba Osaka 3–2 on December 2 before 63,000 supporters. This came after two close calls in the previous two years. In 2005, they finished 2nd, one point behind champions Gamba Osaka. In 2004, they finished 3rd in the first stage and won the second stage. Having qualified for the two-match J.League Championship decider, they lost on penalty kicks to Yokohama F. Marinos.

Urawa were back to back Emperor's Cup winners in 2005 and 2006. Winning the title for the first time since establishment as a professional club, they defeated Shimizu S-Pulse 2–1 on January 1, 2006, and retained the title in 2007 with a 1–0 win over Gamba Osaka. This win also completed a league-cup double. In the 2007 tournament they were defeated at the first hurdle by J2 outfit Ehime FC.

In 2007, despite a seemingly unassailable lead of seven points with four games remaining, Urawa picked up only two points from their final four games. This run included losing at home to Kashima Antlers; the club who would leapfrog Urawa on the final day of the season to claim their fifth J.League title. Following their capitulation in the fourth round of the Emperor's Cup to J2 outfit Ehime FC, Urawa had to be content with their 2007 Asian Champions League title. Urawa recorded their first international title after overcoming Iranian club Sepahan F.C. 3–1 on aggregate. The victory made them the first Japanese side to win the title since the competition was reorganised from the Asian Champions Cup in 2003. In the Club World Cup of the same year, Urawa became the first AFC club to finish in third place, beating Tunisian Étoile Sportive du Sahel side on penalty kicks in the third / fourth place play off.

In 2008, Urawa attempted to win their second consecutive Asian Champions League title and progressed to the semi-finals where they were defeated by fellow J-League rivals, and eventual Champions League winners, Gamba Osaka 3–1 on aggregate.

On 8 March 2014, a banner which read "JAPANESE ONLY" was hung at one of the entrances to the stands.[2] As punishment for this racist behavior, the March 23 match was played in an empty stadium.[3]

On 19 September 2023, it was announced by JFA that Urawa will not be participating in 2024 edition of Emperor's Cup following the riot caused by the fans after 0-3 loss against Nagoya Grampus in the round of 4th of 2023 edition.[4]

International affiliation Edit

The club is also notable in that former Feyenoord midfielder Shinji Ono began his professional career playing for Urawa. Ono returned for the 2006 season for a second stint with the club. Urawa is affiliated with German club FC Bayern Munich, whose nickname is also "The Reds".[5] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the chairman of the FC Bayern Munich, announced that "We have been looking for clubs which have potential ability, management stability and cordial confidence. We could fulfill the desire to affiliate with this great club, Urawa Reds."[6] Some other foreign clubs, such as Arsenal F.C., Club Atlético Independiente, Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, VfB Stuttgart, Manchester United F.C., Feyenoord, Hamburger SV and Perth Glory FC, visited Japan and played friendly games at the Saitama Stadium.

In August 2004, Urawa appeared in a pre-season four-club friendly tournament, the Vodafone Cup, at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. The Japanese club, missing key players, lost their first game 5–2 against the Argentinian side Boca Juniors. The second fixture against the hosts, Manchester United, was called off due to a massive electric storm. Some 800 Urawa fans had travelled to the game and were later compensated.

The club's supporters also have an unofficial relationship with Shanghai Shenhua. The clubs' supporters will support each other in continental competition. For example, Shenhua fans will support Urawa when Urawa plays in Shanghai against Shanghai SIPG.[7]

Stadium Edit

International friendly match against Manchester United, July 30, 2005, Saitama Stadium

Since the establishment of J.League in 1992, the club had used the Urawa Komaba Stadium as its home stadium. Due to the increasing popularity of the matches, Saitama City, owner of the stadium, expanded the seat capacity. During the renovation, the club used Ōmiya Park Soccer Stadium. In spite of the poor performance of the club, the stadium was filled with faithful supporters, drawing an average audience of twenty thousand people.

In October 2001, Saitama Prefecture built new football-specific Saitama Stadium in Saitama city. This stadium was used as a venue for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. After the World Cup the club gradually increased home games in Saitama Stadium and in 2003 the stadium was formally designated as the home stadium. In 2008, only two games were held at Komaba Stadium.

Facilities Edit

Urawa Reds uses Ohara City Field for training. In addition to this facility, the club opened Redsland in 2005, which has three grass fields, one artificial turf field, one baseball field, futsal courts and tennis courts.[8] Redsland is opened to the public and club members can use the facilities at relatively cheap fees.

Mascots Edit

The Red Diamonds have 4 mascots; Redia, Friendia, Schale, and Diarra. However, Redia doesn't make much appearances at Saitama Stadium, due to the club's policy of the stadium being a "place for serious competition". When he does occasionally appear at the stadium, he does not participate in any fan activities. Because of this, Reds fans dubbed him as a NEET mascot (which is an acronym for "No education, employment, or training").[9] According to the club profile, Redia and Friendia were married during a Reds fan festival in 1997. The younger twin mascots, Schale and Diarra, were born on the day the Red Diamonds won their first J. League Championship in 2006.[10]

Rivalries Edit

Saitama derby Edit

Urawa Red Diamonds has a local derby with Omiya Ardija, from Ōmiya-ku, Saitama city. They first met in the 1987 Emperor's Cup, with Mitsubishi defeating NTT Kanto by 5 to 0 at Nishigaoka National Stadium. The derby first took place in the JSL Second Division in the 1989–90 season, and it wouldn't take place until the 2000 season when Urawa was relegated to the second tier again. In 2003 the formerly separate Omiya and Urawa cities merged to become Saitama city, and since 2005 the derby became a top flight fixture after Omiya was promoted.

Marunouchi Gosanke Edit

During the JSL years and into the 1990s, Urawa's main top flight rivals were JEF United Chiba and Kashiwa Reysol, both now based in Chiba Prefecture. Because of their former parent companies' headquarters being all based in Marunouchi, Tokyo, the three clubs were known as the Marunouchi Gosanke (丸の内御三家, "Marunouchi Big Three") and fixtures among them were known as the Marunouchi derbies, although the term is falling out of use as they are now based in different prefectures and rarely play home games in Tokyo stadiums.

Others Edit

Rivals further afield include Kashima Antlers, FC Tokyo, Yokohama Marinos, Kawasaki Frontale, and, even farther away, Gamba Osaka. Old JSL championship rivalries with Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Cerezo Osaka and Shonan Bellmare have ebbed down as those clubs had nadirs in the 3 tier.

Women's team Edit

The club also has a women's football team, currently playing in the WE League as Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies.[11]

Kit and colours Edit

Colours Edit

The main colours of the Urawa Red Diamonds are red, black and white.

Kit evolution Edit

League & cup record Edit

Champions Runners-up Third place Promoted Relegated
Season Div. Teams Pos. Avg. Attd. Emperor's Cup J.League Cup Super Cup AFC CL Others
1992 Semi-finals Group stage
1993 J1 10 10th 11,459 2nd round Group stage
1994 12 12th 18,475 3rd round Quarter-finals
1995 14 4th 19,560 Quarter-finals
1996 16 6th 24,329 Semi-finals Group stage
1997 17 10th 20,504 Round of 16 Quarter-finals
1998 18 6th 22,706 Quarter-finals Group stage
1999 16 15th 21,206 Round of 16 Quarter-finals
2000 J2 11 2nd 16,923 Round of 16 1st round
2001 J1 16 10th 26,720 Semi-finals Quarter-finals
2002 16 11th 26,296 3rd round Runners-up
2003 16 6th 28,855 3rd round Winners
2004 16 2nd 36,660 Semi-finals Runners-up
2005 18 2nd 39,357 Winners Semi-finals
2006 18 1st 45,573 Winners Quarter-finals Winners
2007 18 2nd 46,667 Round of 16 Quarter-finals Runners-up Winners A3 3rd place
FIFA CWC 3rd place
2008 18 7th 47,609 5th round Group stage Semi-finals
2009 18 6th 44,210 2nd round Quarter-finals
2010 18 10th 39,941 Quarter-finals Group stage
2011 18 15th 33,910 Quarter-finals Runners-up
2012 18 3rd 36,634 Round of 16 Group stage
2013 18 6th 37,100 3rd round Runners-up Group stage
2014 18 2nd 35,516 3rd round Quarter-finals
2015 18 3rd 38,745 Runners-up Quarter-finals Runners-up Group stage
2016 18 2nd 36,935 Round of 16 Winners Round of 16
2017 18 7th 33,542 Round of 16 Quarter-finals Runners-up Winners Suruga Winners
FIFA CWC 5th place
2018 18 5th 34,798 Winners Play-off stage
2019 18 14th 34,184 Round of 16 Quarter-finals Runners-up Runners-up
2020 18 10th 7,869 Did not qualify Group stage
2021 20 6th 8,244 Winners Semi-finals
2022 18 9th 23,617 3rd round Semi-finals Winners Winners
  • Pos. = Position in league
  • Attendance/G = Average home league attendance
  • 2020, 2021 seasons attendance reduced by COVID-19 worldwide pandemic

Honours Edit

Domestic Edit

As both Mitsubishi (amateur era) and Urawa Red Diamonds (professional era)

League Edit

Cups Edit

International Edit

Individual awards Edit

Players Edit

Current squad Edit

As of 11 August 2023.[12]

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 Shusaku Nishikawa
2 DF   JPN Hiroki Sakai (captain)
3 MF   JPN Atsuki Ito
4 DF   JPN Takuya Iwanami
5 DF   NOR Marius Høibråten
6 DF   JPN Kazuaki Mawatari
7 FW   JPN Hiroki Abe
8 MF   JPN Yoshio Koizumi
9 FW   NED Bryan Linssen
10 MF   JPN Shoya Nakajima
11 FW   GUI José Kanté
14 MF   JPN Takahiro Sekine
15 DF   JPN Takahiro Akimoto
16 GK   JPN Ayumi Niekawa
17 FW   NED Alex Schalk
18 FW   JPN Toshiki Takahashi
No. Pos. Nation Player
19 MF   JPN Ken Iwao (vice-captain)
20 DF   JPN Tetsuya Chinen
21 MF   JPN Tomoaki Okubo
22 MF   JPN Kai Shibato
24 DF   JPN Yuta Miyamoto
25 MF   JPN Kaito Yasui
26 DF   JPN Takuya Ogiwara
27 MF   THA Ekanit Panya (on loan from Muangthong United)
28 DF   DEN Alexander Scholz (vice-captain)
29 MF   JPN Yota Horiuchi
30 FW   JPN Shinzo Koroki (vice-captain)
31 GK   JPN Shun Yoshida
35 MF   JPN Jumpei Hayakawa Type 2
40 MF   JPN Yuichi Hirano
66 DF   JPN Ayumu Ohata

Out on loan Edit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
10 FW   SWE David Moberg Karlsson (On loan at Aris Thessaloniki)
12 GK   JPN Zion Suzuki (On loan at Sint Truiden)
13 DF   JPN Tomoya Inukai (On loan at Kashiwa Reysol)
27 MF   JPN Kai Matsuzaki (On loan at Vegalta Sendai)
DF   JPN Kota Kudo (On loan at Fujieda MYFC)
DF   JPN Ryuya Fukushima (On loan at Kochi United)
No. Pos. Nation Player
DF   JPN Yudai Fujiwara (On loan at FC Machida Zelvia)
MF   JPN Hidetoshi Takeda (On loan at Mito HollyHock)
MF   JPN Yusuke Matsuo (On loan at KVC Westerlo)
FW   DEN Kasper Junker (On loan at Nagoya Grampus)
FW   JPN Rei Kihara (On loan at AC Nagano Parceiro)

World Cup players Edit

The following players have represented their country at the World Cup whilst playing for Urawa Red Diamonds:

World Cup 1998

World Cup 2006

World Cup 2010

World Cup 2014

World Cup 2018

World Cup 2022

Club captains Edit

Former players Edit

International capped players Edit


Club officials Edit

For the 2023 season.

Position Name
Sporting director   Hisashi Tsuchida
Manager   Maciej Skorża
Assistant manager   Masato Maesako
  Nobuyasu Ikeda
  Rafal Janas
  Wojciech Makowski
First-team coach & Analyst   Maiki Hayashi
Physical coach   Tatsuru Ishiguri
  Wojciech Ignatiuk
Goalkeeper coach   Juan Miret
Assistant goalkeeper coach   Hitoshi Shiota
Match Analyst   Yuma Moriya
Interpreter   Vacant
  Narit Jampalee

Manager history Edit

Manager Nationality Tenure
Start Finish
Hiroshi Ninomiya   Japan 1 February 1967 31 January 1975
Kenzo Yokoyama   Japan 1 February 1975 31 January 1983
Kuniya Daini   Japan 1 February 1984 30 June 1989
Kazuo Saito   Japan 1 July 1989 30 June 1992
Takaji Mori   Japan 1 July 1993 31 January 1994
Kenzo Yokoyama   Japan 1 February 1994 31 January 1995
Holger Osieck   Germany 1 February 1995 31 December 1996
Horst Köppel   Germany 1 February 1997 31 December 1998
Hiromi Hara   Japan 1 February 1998 30 June 1999
Aad de Mos   Netherlands 1 July 1999 3 December 1999
Yasushi Yoshida   Japan 4 December1999 31 January 2000
Kazuo Saito   Japan 2 February 2000 2 October 2000
Kenzo Yokoyama   Japan 3 October 2000 31 January 2001
Tita   Brazil 1 February 2001 27 August 2001
Pita   Brazil 28 August 2001 31 January 2001
Hans Ooft   Netherlands 1 February 2002 31 January 2004
Guido Buchwald   Germany 1 February 2004 31 January 2006
Holger Osieck   Germany 1 February 2007 16 March 2008
Gert Engels   Germany 16 March 2008 27 November 2008
Volker Finke   Germany 1 February 2009 31 January 2011
Željko Petrović   Montenegro 1 February 2011 20 October 2011
Takafumi Hori (caretaker)   Japan 20 October 2011 31 January 2012
Mihailo Petrović   Serbia 1 February 2012 30 July 2017
Takafumi Hori   Japan 31 July 2017 2 April 2018
Tsuyoshi Otsuki   Japan 3 April 2018 24 April 2018
Oswaldo de Oliveira   Brazil 25 April 2018 28 May 2019
Tsuyoshi Otsuki   Japan 29 May 2019 22 December 2020
Ricardo Rodríguez   Spain 22 December 2020 30 October 2022
Maciej Skorża   Poland 11 November 2022 Current

League history Edit

Excepting two seasons in which they were in the second tier, Mitsubishi/Urawa has always competed in the top flight, thereby being the club with the most top flight seasons total.

  • Mitsubishi (Amateur era)
    • Division 1 (JSL and JSL Div.1): 1965–66, 1988–89
    • Division 2 (JSL Div.2): 1989–90
    • Division 1 (JSL Div.1): 1990–91, 1991–92
  • Urawa Red Diamonds (Professional era)
  • Top scorer: Masahiro Fukuda with 152 goals

Notes Edit

  1. ^ The original clubs of the Japan Soccer League in 1965 were Mitsubishi Motors, Furukawa Electric, Hitachi, Yanmar Diesel, Toyo Kogyo, Yawata Steel, Toyota Industries and Nagoya Mutual Bank.
  2. ^ The original clubs of the J.League in 1993 were Kashima Antlers, Urawa, JEF United Ichihara, Verdy Kawasaki, Yokohama Marinos, Yokohama Flügels, Shimizu S-Pulse, Nagoya Grampus Eight, Gamba Osaka and Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

References Edit

  1. ^ 浦和レッズ年表 Archived 2008-10-25 at the Wayback Machine, Urawa Red Diamonds
  2. ^ ARUDOU, DEBITO (12 March 2014). "J.League and media must show red card to racism". Japan Times. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Urawa Reds play to empty stadium after fans banned for racist banner". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  4. ^ "【規律委員会】 2023年9月19日付 公表". www.jfa.jp (in Japanese). JFA. Retrieved 19 September 2023.
  5. ^ J-League partner Urawa seal domestic double Archived 2007-05-19 at the Wayback Machine, FC Bayern
  6. ^ 06.01.18 FCバイエルン・ミュンヘン(ドイツ)とのパートナーシップ締結について Archived 2008-12-08 at the Wayback Machine, Urawa Red Diamonds
  7. ^ "Wild East Football". Archived from the original on 2019-03-25. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  8. ^ レッズランド | 浦和レッズ Archived 2008-10-24 at the Wayback Machine, Urawa Red Diamonds
  9. ^ A brief history of J.League mascots | Mascot madness in Japanese football, archived from the original on 2022-04-07, retrieved 2022-04-08
  10. ^ "CLUB-PROFILE | URAWA RED DIAMONDS OFFICIAL WEBSITE". www.urawa-reds.co.jp. Archived from the original on 2022-05-09. Retrieved 2022-04-15.
  11. ^ URAWA REDS LADIES Archived 2008-10-24 at the Wayback Machine, Urawa Red Diamonds
  12. ^ "TOP TEAM". Archived from the original on 27 July 2022. Retrieved 13 March 2023.

External links Edit

Sporting positions
Preceded by Champions of Asia
Succeeded by
Preceded by Champions of Asia
Succeeded by