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Defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka, who was instrumental in Urawa Reds’ successful title campaign, has been named J. League player of the year, the league announced Monday.

The 25-year-old Japan international was at the heart of the stingiest defense in the top flight and scored seven goals in the 2006 season, which saw Urawa capture its first league title.

Urawa’s outgoing German coach Guido Buchwald won the manager of the year award for the first time after his side finished the season on 72 points from 34 matches, five adrift of second-placed Kawasaki Frontale.

Shimizu S-Pulse midfielder Jungo Fujimoto was voted young player of the year.

THE J. LEAGUE XI

Goalkeeper — Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi (Jubilo Iwata)

Defenders — Marcus Tulio Tanaka (Urawa Reds), Satoshi Yamaguchi (Gamba Osaka), Akira Kaji (Gamba Osaka)

Midfielders — Keita Suzuki (Urawa Reds), Yuki Abe (JEF United Chiba), Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale), Hiroyuki Taniguchi (Kawasaki Frontale), Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka)

Forwards — Washington (Urawa Reds), Magno Alves (Gamba Osaka)

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