The history of football in Japan

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Football is the number one sport in Japan, contrary to what many people may think. Despite the popularity of other sports, such as baseball or sumo, soccer is the king sport in that country of the East, where it is called "sakka", a derivation of the North American word "soccer".

Nowadays, Japanese football has evolved in a brutal way, its selection is matched with its international counterparts and Japanese players shine in several teams in Europe. And, in the world of virtual betting, for example, the J-League championship becomes increasingly appealing to Brazilian traders, through bookmakers.

The history of football in Japan is closely related to Brazil. The world has always become accustomed to seeing Brazilians as the kings of football and, in Japan, things were no different. However, that was when Zico moved to the Kashima Antlers, in 1991, that the relationship narrowed. The former Canarian international would become an authentic idol for the Japanese, becoming responsible for the growth and popularity of football in that country. An exponential growth that would culminate in the creation of the current professional football league, the J-League.

It is curious to note that this relationship was already made in the series “Super Campeões”, which was an international success worldwide. In this anime, sponsored by the Japanese government in the 1980s in order to try to make football more popular, its hero, Captain Tsubasa, had the dream of going to play precisely for Brazil.

The history of football in japan

KEMARI, FOUNDER OF FOOTBALL

The story goes that football was invented by the English at the end of the 19th century, but the truth is that, over the decades, many other civilizations have already practiced similar sports. The Japanese, too, as well as the Chinese, had a very similar sport, called Kemari. And, even though it was not the origin of football, we can consider that it was an important precursor.

Kemari is derived from the Chinese Cuju and, translated directly into Portuguese, means “to kick the ball”. However, unlike football, it is not a competitive sport. That is, it means that there are no losers or winners in the game. The goal is simply not to drop the ball on the floor, exchanging it between players without using your hands. All of this without leaving the court. 

This is a modality that aims to promote physical activity, but also individual skill. In turn, football aims to promote teamwork and competition between teams. Even today Kemari is practiced in Japan, namely at festivals, where players still use the traditional clothes and shoes used at the time.

The history of football in japan

JAPANESE FOOTBALL TODAY

Football in Japan is fully developed and is one of the strongest on the Asian continent. It is the second country with the most titles in Asia, with 5, only surpassed by South Korea, with 10. In 2005, Japan hosted its first World Cup, further consolidating this recognition.

The Japanese league was known as a minor league, where the big stars went to look for a gold makeover. Former internationals like Gary Lineker, Salvatore Schillachi or Dragan Stojkovic were the first to experience Japanese football. But after 1991, with the Zico revolution, football in Japan began its upward evolution, until it consolidated in the creation of the J-League.

Nowadays, the J-League is a championship much sought after by online sports bettors, since it is an extremely appealing league. As it is not yet a very popular competition, the odds are more appealing at the various online bookmakers, guaranteeing greater gains for traders around the world.   In addition, as Japanese football becomes more competitive, it becomes more interesting to combine entertainment and extra income. 

Online sports betting has grown exponentially in the past decade and is increasingly desirable for international players. After all, the net is an increasingly safe and regulated sector, guaranteeing the protection and safety of bettors, who find a way to increase their income at the end of the month. And who doesn't like to have extra money when the due date ends?

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