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Ryozo SUZUKI

Japan Football Hall of Fame

7th group of inductees, 2010
Born in Saitama Prefecture on 20 September 1939.
A defender who propped up the national team's back line throughout a period of dramatic growth for Japanese football, from the Tokyo Olympic Games to the Mexico City Olympic Games.
First plays football at the Saitama Prefectural Urawa Nishi High School, helping the team to glory at the 35th All-Japan High School Tournament in 1956. Joins Rikkyo University (Saint Paul's University), who win both the Kanto University League (with a 100% record) and the East-West University Challenge Match in 1959. Joins Hitachi in 1962, and helps the team both to a runner-up finish in the Emperor's Cup All-Japan Championship Tournament and to victory in the National Cities' Challenge Tournament in 1963.
Called up to the senior Japanese national squad while still at Rikkyo University, and makes his full debut against Indonesia in August 1961. Appears in all of Japan's matches at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, helping the team reach the quarter-finals. Demonstrates a powerful heading ability and physical strength to compare with any foreign opponent, putting in a series of dogged performances as a stopper to tightly mark the top players in each of the teams Japan face. Plays as part of the Japan team that finishes third at the 1966 Asian Games in Bangkok. Starts for Japan in a match played against the top Brazilian professional club Palmeiras at Komazawa Stadium in Tokyo in June 1967, frustrating the dangerous forward Dario with persistent close marking as the national team achieves its first ever victory over a professional opponent. Also selected for the Japanese national team at the Mexico Olympic Games in 1968, before retiring from international duty later that year. Capped a total of 98 times for the senior side.
Makes a total of 67 appearances in his JSL career with Hitachi up to 1970, scoring five goals, and is named in the 1965 JSL Select (annual best XI).

*Information supplied by Japan Football Museum

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