In 1993 the Japanese league -Liga J- was inaugurated, and from that year on, all footballers became professionals, who, previously, were part of amateur teams belonging to different companies.
How many teams belong to the J League?
In 1993 there were ten teams, the following year two more were admitted and in 1995 two awarded. So in total fourteen teams make up the league at the moment.
In Spain, the Primera Division league begins in September and ends in March. Is it like that in Japan too?
No. The Japanese league is divided into two stages. the first begins in March and ends in July and the second lasts from August to December. All teams, in each stage, must play 26 games, because each of them has to face 13 teams not only at home but also abroad. The champion of the first stage and the champion of the second play two games and thus the League champion is determined.
The system of the Japanese League is quite different. Well, has the level of Japanese soccer gone up a bit since the League was inaugurated?
I think so. Because before, Japanese footballers were amateurs and now they have to earn a living playing well as professionals. We have also been joined by many famous foreign footballers, for example Zico, Schilacci …
The 2006 world cup in Germany. Japan was grouped with Brazil, Croatia and Australia. We have lost first team with Australia, Second game was a draw with Croatia, Last team with Brazil was lost. This World Cup was very sad for the Japanese. The Japanese boss was Zico from Brazil.