• Kyodo News

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Japan and Urawa Reds defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka has been named 2006 Footballer of the Year, a poll of Japanese soccer writers said Wednesday.

The 25-year-old stopper, who helped Urawa clinch its first league title last season and earned the 2006 J. League Player of the Year award, collected 77 of the 205 votes cast nationwide.

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