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Hiroshi OCHIAI

Japan Football Hall of Fame

7th group of inductees, 2010
Born in Saitama Prefecture on 28 February 1946.
Known as the "Iron Man" of the JSL era after achieving a record of 260 consecutive appearances over 16 seasons.
Performs superbly in the All-Japan High School Tournament as part of a strong Urawa Municipal High School side, and is named as Player of the Tournament for two years in a row.
Appears in the Asian Youth Championship with the Japanese national youth team for three years in a row from 1963 to 1965, scoring five goals in 13 appearances. As an attacking midfielder presenting a powerful goal threat both aerially and from outside the penalty area, Ochiai becomes the subject of much attention - leading to a debut with the full national team on a tour of Europe in 1966. Is later converted to a defender, where he learns strong covering and one-on-one skills to complement his attacking abilities, and fulfils a variety of roles including full-back, centre-back, and defensive midfielder.
Represents Japan in qualifying for the Montreal Olympic Games (1976), the FIFA World Cup in Argentina (1978), and the Moscow Olympic Games (1980). Earns a total of 126 Japan caps (63 in "A" matches) up to 1980, scoring 17 goals (9 in "A" matches).
Makes a total of 267 appearances in his JSL career (the second most in JSL history) with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries between 1966 and 1984, scoring 56 goals. Finishes as the league's top scorer as Mitsubishi win their first ever JSL Division 1 title in 1969.
Ultimately wins four JSL Division 1 titles and four Emperor's Cup All-Japan Championship Tournaments, and is named in the JSL's annual best XI on ten different occasions. Helps Mitsubishi complete a treble of JSL Division 1, Emperor's Cup, and JSL Cup titles in 1978, and additionally receives the personal honour of being named Player of the Year.
Leaves a great impression throughout Japanese footballing circles - continuing to lead the way for the Japanese national team throughout a difficult period in its history, and delivering a multitude of titles for his Mitsubishi club side.
Serves as coach of the Japanese national team between 1988 and 1992, and of Urawa Reds from 1992 to 1993.

*Information supplied by Japan Football Museum

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