Fresh from helping Kashima Antlers to a record third J. League championship in succession, former Japan international Mitsuo Ogasawara was crowned player of the year on Monday.
The 30-year-old midfielder becomes the second Kashima player in a row to pick up the award after Brazilian striker Marquinhos spearheaded Antlers’ successful campaign in 2008 and finished top of the scoring charts.
“People have judged me by my performances over a season and I’m honored. I would like to thank everyone involved with Kashima,” said Ogasawara.
Ryoichi Maeda won the Golden Boot after bagging a league-leading 20 goals for Jubilo Iwata.
“I am standing here with this award because I have been able to play with (former Jubilo strikers) Masashi Nakayama and Naohiro Takahara,” said Maeda.
“But unlike them I haven’t achieved anything. I haven’t played at the World Cup. I hope I can be on a par with them one day.”
Takahara was the last Japanese player to win the Golden Boot in 2002, when he was also named player of the year.
Kazuma Watanabe’s haul of 13 goals earned the Yokohama F. Marinos striker the young player of the year award.
Gamba Osaka’s Asian player of the year Yasuhito Endo was named to the Best XI for a record seventh time in succession.
Kashima’s Brazilian coach Oswaldo Oliveira won the manager of the year award.