Zico, Ruy Ramos and Alcindo – The 3 legends that popularized football/soccer in Japan

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Zico, Ruy Ramos and Alcindo, record these 3 names. In this article, we will talk about the Brazilians responsible for popularizing football/soccer in the land of the rising sun.

Japan never had soccer as the main sport in the country, considering that martial arts (Judô, Sumo, Karate, Kendo and Aikido), tennis and baseball, historically, have always been much more popular, established and practiced by the Japanese. Nowadays, however, the situation has already been reversed, and football/soccer is one of the (if not “the” most) most popular in the country.

soccer in japan he only really became professional in the 90s, under the influence of great Brazilian names such as Zico, Alcindo and Ruy Ramos. Since the 2000s the japanese team (or “blue samurai” as they are called) has frequently qualified for World Cups and usually reaches the round of 16 of the competition, which shows a great evolution of Japanese football/soccer today.

Zico, ruy ramos and alcindo: the brazilians who helped popularize soccer in japan

Ruy Ramos: Pioneer and legend

Ruy Ramos (ラモス瑠偉) or “Ramusu Rui” as he is called in Japan, was a Brazilian player who became a Japanese national and played for the Japanese national team for a long time. Considered a pioneer and legend of Japanese football/soccer, he scored 83 goals for Verdy Kawasaki during the 70s, 80s and 90s.

He defended the national team between 1990 and 1995 and is still remembered by the Japanese for his quality on the field, for his charisma and for being the first Brazilian to be successful playing in Asian football/soccer.

Furthermore, Ruy married Japanese Hatsune. Below, you can see videos of some of the player's moves (who was very skilled by the way):

YouTube video

Zico: Professionalization of football/soccer and the success of Kashima Antlers

Zico (ジーコ) is an idol and God in Japan. In addition to having played for Kashima, he was the coach of the Japanese national team for many matches (77), having even been the coach of the blue samurai in the 2006 World Cup.

After winning several titles for Flamengo in Brazil, he defended Kashima between 1991 and 1994 (the team was called Sumitomo Metals until 1993), having been, along with Alcindo and other Brazilians, one of the main responsible for the professionalization of the sport in country.

During this same period, in 1993, the first official Japanese league took place (before football/soccer was still semi-professional). Zico is revered to this day and currently holds the position of technical director at Kashima.

YouTube video
Zico, ruy ramos and alcindo: the brazilians who helped popularize soccer in japan

Alcindo: The Kappa and the Wig

Spurred on by Zico's move to Japanese football/soccer, Alcindo Sartori (アルシンド) was another player to enjoy overwhelming success in Japan during the 1990s.

The athlete even became a poster boy on Japanese television. Wig advertisements were carried out with Alcindo and the player was even given the nickname of the mythological creature “Kappa”, as a result of being partially bald.

Below we can see a TV commercial Japanese (extremely funny, by the way) with the former Brazilian player (note: the video is entirely in Japanese):

YouTube video

The article is still halfway through, but we recommend also reading:

Other popular Brazilians in Japanese Soccer

Zico - zico, ruy ramos and alcindo: the brazilians who helped popularize soccer in japan
  • Alex
  • Túlio Tanaka
  • Leonardo
  • Dunga
  • Washington
  • Marquinhos Somersault
  • mozer
  • Robson Ponte
  • Milton Cruz
  • Mazinho
  • jorginho
  • Euller

In addition to the Brazilian players mentioned, many green-yellow coaches were successful in the land of the samurai, such as Oswaldo de Oliveira and Toninho Cerezo.

We recommend as a complementary reading this GE article on the subject: The 10 best Brazilians who have played in Japan – According to the Japanese | Blog Soccer in Japan | Globoesporte.com. We also recommend this article from the Trivela website: The 50 Brazilian players who helped write the history of Kashima Antlers (trivela.com.br)

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