Yasuyuki Konno (今野 泰幸 Konno Yasuyuki, born 25 January 1983 in Sendai, Japan) is a Japanese football player who plays for Gamba Osaka in the J1 League. He regular plays as either a defensive midfielder or a centre back. He has previously played for Consadole Sapporo, FC Tokyo and the Japan national team.
|Full name||Yasuyuki Konno|
|Date of birth||25 January 1983|
|Place of birth||Sendai, Miyagi, Japan|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
Defensive midfielder |
|1998–2000||Tōhoku High School|
|2018||Gamba Osaka U-23||1||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2 December 2018|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 December 2017
After graduating from Tōhoku High School, Konno signed his first professional contract with J.League Division 1 side Consadole Sapporo ahead of the 2001 season. He spent 3 seasons in total in Hokkaido and made 65 league appearances for the men in red and black who were relegated to J.League Division 2 for the 2003 season. He spent one year playing second division football before heading south to join FC Tokyo in 2004. He played more than 250 league games across 8 seasons at the Ajinomoto Stadium and helped them lift the J.League Cup in 2004 and 2009 as well as J.League Division 2 and the Emperor's Cup in his final season at the club in 2011.
He moved west to join Gamba Osaka in 2012. His first season with the men in blue and black was not a happy one as they were relegated down to Japan's second division following a 17th place finish in the league. They bounced back as champions at the first time of asking with Konno netting 4 times in 32 games. 2014 got even better for Gamba as they marked their return to Japan's top flight by winning the domestic treble; lifting the J.League trophy in addition to the J.League Cup and Emperor's Cup. Konno played 46 times and scored twice across all competitions, forming a central midfield partnership with Japan's most capped international player Yasuhito Endō.
Gamba retained their Emperor's Cup title in 2015 and added the 2015 Japanese Super Cup to their trophy cabinet, defeating Urawa Red Diamonds in the final of both competitions, they also reached the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League before going down to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande over 2 legs. Konno played 51 times in all competitions in 2015 and scored 6 goals.
Gamba didn't win any silverware between 2016 and 2018, but Konno remained an important figure in the side, missing just 1 league game in 2016 as Gamba finished 3rd in the final standings. Injury forced him out for a spell in 2017 and he was able to make only 24 league appearances before an even longer spell on the sidelines caused him to miss the majority of the first half of the 2018 season. Gamba struggled under new head coach, the Brazilian Levir Culpi who was fired midway through the season and replaced by Gamba Under-23 coach Tsuneyasu Miyamoto. Miyamoto's appointment coincided with Konno's return from injury and a Gamba side that had spent much of the season in the relegation zone went on a 9 match winning streak in the league and eventually ended up in a comfortable 9th place.
He was part of the Japanese 2004 Olympic football team, which finished fourth in group B, below group winners Paraguay, Italy and Ghana. He also capped for Japan U-20 team at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship.
On 3 August 2005, he made his debut for the senior national team in an East Asian Cup match against China which finished in a 2-2 draw. He earned a second cap 4 days later, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over South Korea. Later that year he came on as a second half substitute in the 1-0 home victory over Iran in a 2006 World Cup qualifier.
Konno wouldn't play again for his country until after the 2006 World Cup Finals, playing in the 1-0 home friendly defeat to Ghana in October 2006 and the 2007 Asian Cup qualifying wins over India, later that month, and Saudi Arabia in November.
It would be another 7 months before he next pulled on the blue of Japan, playing in the home friendly win over Montenegro and the draw with Colombia in June 2007. His performances in those games earned him a spot in Japan's squad for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup and he played 3 times as they finished in 4th place following a 3-2 semi-final defeat to Saudi Arabia and a penalty shootout loss to South Korea in the 3rd / 4th place play off. He played 3 more non-competitive matches in 2007; against Qatar, Austria and Egypt.
In February 2008 he was selected in the squad for the East Asian Football Championship and played in the 1-0 win over China and the 1-1 draw with South Korea as Japan ended up in 2nd place in the final standings. 2008 turned out to be a busy year for him internationally as he played a further 4 friendly matches and 6 2010 World Cup qualifiers.
He played 7 times in 2009, the first appearance coming as a second-half replacement in the 5-1 thrashing of Finland in February which was followed up by a start in the 4-0 win against Chile in May. He played twice the following month in the World Cup Qualifiers against Qatar and Australia. The matches did not turn out well for the Samurai Blue who could only draw 1-1 at home to Qatar before going down 2-1 away to Australia 7 days later. Japan were back on form later in the year, defeating Scotland and Togo in October with Konno starting the first and coming on in the second half of the latter before also appearing as a substitute the following month in a 0-0 draw away to World Cup hosts South Africa.
The following year he was selected in Japan's squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and was handed the number 15 jersey. He only got on the field for 2 minutes in the entire tournament, replacing Yoshito Ōkubo in the 88th minute of Japan's 3-1 Group E win over Denmark in Rustenburg which sealed their qualification to the last 16 where they'd go on to be eliminated by Paraguay on penalties.
2011 saw him named in the squad for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar where this time he wore the number 4 on his back. He played every minute of all Japan's six matches at the tournament as they went on to lift the title, defeating Australia 1-0 after extra time in the final thanks to Tadanari Lee's 109th minute winner. Later in the year he scored his first international goal, a 36th minute opener in the 4-0 win away to Tajikistan in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on 11 November.
He played 8 international in 2012, a mixture of friendlies and World Cup qualifiers before being chosen in the Japan squad for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil the following year. He started all 3 of the Samurai Blue's games at the tournament which all ended in defeat and saw them finish below Brazil, Italy and Mexico in the Group A standings.
In 2014 he played in his second World Cup, this time in Brazil. Japan were drawn in Group C along with Colombia, Greece and Ivory Coast and finished in 4th place with 1 draw and 2 defeats. Konno didn't play in the opening 2-1 defeat to the Ivory Coast, but started the 0-0 draw with Greece and the 4-1 defeat to Colombia.
He would play only a further 10 matches for his country across 3 years after the 2014 World Cup, however he did manage to increase his international goal tally to 4 thanks to strikes in the 2-1 home friendly win over Australia in November 2014, the 2-0 away victory over the United Arab Emirates in a 2018 World Cup qualifier in March 2017 and finally in a 1-1 friendly draw at home to Syria on 7 June 2017.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Asia||Other1||Total|
|Japan||League||Emperor's Cup||League Cup||ACL||Total|
|Japan national team|
- Scores and results list Japan's goal tally first.
|1||11 November 2011||Central Stadium, Dushanbe, Tajikistan||Tajikistan||1–0||4–0||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2||18 November 2014||Nagai Stadium, Osaka, Japan||Australia||1–0||2–1||Friendly|
|3||23 March 2017||Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates||United Arab Emirates||2–0||2–0||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|4||7 June 2017||Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo, Japan||Syria||1–1||1–1||2017 Kirin Cup|
National team career statisticsEdit
Appearances in major competitionsEdit
|Japan||2003 FIFA World Youth Championship||U-20||5||0||0||Quarter-finals|
|Japan||2004 Olympics||U-23||3||0||0||Round 1|
|Japan||2007 AFC Asian Cup Qualification||Senior||2||0||0||Qualified|
|Japan||2007 AFC Asian Cup||Senior||1||3||0||4th place|
|Japan||2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification||Senior||1||5||0||Qualified|
|Japan||2010 FIFA World Cup||Senior||0||1||0||Last 16|
|Japan||2011 AFC Asian Cup||Senior||6||0||0||Champions|
|Japan||2013 FIFA Confederations Cup||Senior||3||0||0||Group Stage|
|Japan||2014 FIFA World Cup||Senior||2||0||0||Group Stage|
Awards and honoursEdit
- FC Tokyo
- J.League Division 2 (1): 2011
- Emperor's Cup (1): 2011
- J.League Cup (2): 2004, 2009
- Suruga Bank Championship (1): 2010
- Gamba Osaka
- "FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 4 June 2010. p. 16. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
- "National Team Squad". jfa.or.jp. Japan Football Association. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "Yasuyuki Konno Soccerway Player Statistics". Soccerway.com. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "Yasuyuki Konno Gamba Osaka Player Profile". Gamba Osaka (in Japanese). Retrieved 11 March 2019.
- http://www.the-afc.com/en/afc-asian-cup-2011-schedule-a-results?view=teamdetails&compID=242&roundID=498&groupID=682&teamID=96&id=0[dead link]
- Japan squad for Confederations Cup announced, Japan Football Association, 5 June 2013
- "World Cup 2014: Kagawa and Yoshida in Japan squad". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 12 May 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- "Yasuyuki Konno J Football Player Statistics Player Statistics". J Football Database (in Japanese). Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- Nippon Sports Kikaku Publishing inc./日本スポーツ企画出版社, "J1&J2&J3選手名鑑ハンディ版 2018 (NSK MOOK)", 7 February 2018, Japan, ISBN 978-4905411529 (p. 82 out of 289)
- "Konno, Yasuyuki". National Football Teams. Retrieved 23 March 2017.