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Albirex Niigata

Albirex Niigata is a football (soccer) club from Japan.

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About Albirex Niigata

is a Japanese J. League Division 1 association football team. Despite the club's relative youth, only joining the J. League in 1999, Albirex are one of Japan's best supported teams. In J. League 2003, while still playing in the second tier of Japanese football (J2), Albirex attracted the best average crowd in the country of over 30000. Since promotion to J1 in J. League 2004 they have recorded an average crowd of over 38000, and in J. League 2005 Albirex were the first ever club in Japan to record an average gate of over 40,000.


For many years it had been a local autonomous amateur club, Niigata 11, that could never hope to see the light of day in an old Japan Soccer League dominated almost entirely by company teams. The creation of the J. League spurred the club to rise, and in the 1990s it began climbing fast through the divisions.

In 1998, Albirex Niigata joined the Japan Football League (former), and was merged into the J2 league after its creation in 1999. The team gradually became competitive and on 2001 and 2002 it came close to getting promoted to J1 and in 2003, it became the champion of J2 and finally joined the top flight.

The team name is made from combining the star Albireo of the constellation Cygnus (constellation) (the Swan) and the Latin word Rex meaning 'king'. In 1997, due to copyright issues, the team name was changed from Albireo Niigata to the current Albirex Niigata.

In 2007, the uniform color will change. Until 2006, the color was orange - blue - orange, but from 2007 the color will be orange - orange - orange. This coordinate has not been adopted since 1996 when the team professionalized.

The success in Albirex Niigata gave a big impact to the entire Japanese sporting world including the professional baseball. It is because commercial correctness of structure of professional sports, and a regional sticking (effectiveness in Japan) was proven also in the local mainstay city. Moreover, it came for clarifying the possession of energy that it was farther larger than the expectation of the sports market in the local city without the population of the metropolitan area in the past, and local city citizens' localism feelings are very bigger to influence other a lot of sports and municipality. it set a record for highest attendance in the J. League with the cumulative total of around 660,000. Its practice grounds are Albirex's training facilities in Niigata Seiro Sports Center and the in Shibata, Niigata.

The club plays its home games in the Niigata Stadium "Big Swan", which is currently called the Tohoku Electric Power Big Swan Stadium through a sponsorship deal. The stadium was opened in 2001, and has a capacity of 42,300. Prior to this the club had played its matches in the Niigata City Athletic Stadium constructed in 1938 with a capacity of 18,000.

The stadium was the site of two first round matches and one Round of 16 match in the past 2002 FIFA World Cup. It was also the venue for the 2009 National Sports Festival of Japan.


Current Squad

As of February 8, 2012

Out on loan

2012 Season Transfers

Notable players

International Players

- Keiji Kaimoto
- Katsuo Kanda
- Naoya Kikuchi
- Hisashi Kurosaki
- Gotoku Sakai
- Motohiro Yamaguchi
- Kisho Yano
- An Yong-Hak
- Cho Young-Cheol
- Issey Nakajima-Farran
(2002, 2003 J. League Division 2 top scorer)
- Marcio Richardes de Andrade (2010 J. League Best XI)


- J. League Division 2
- - Champions (1) : 2003 J. League Division 2 and is going to join L1 in 2007.

The following clubs are affiliated with Albirex Niigata:
- Albirex Niigata FC (Singapore)
- Japan Soccer College (Japanese Regional Leagues)
- Albirex Niigata Ladies (L. League)

In addition to the J-1 Albirex Niigata football team, there is an Niigata Albirex BB in the bj league, as well as a ski, snowboard, baseball, and track and field team. Though the teams share the same name, management and finances are completely separate for each team.


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