Away Days #5 Yokohama F. Marinos

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Yokohama Efu Marinosu, English translation Yokohama F. Marinos, were founded in 1972. Based in Yokohoma, Japan, they were founded to serve as the Nissan Motor Company football team. In 1999, two clubs, Yokohama Marinos and Yokohama Flügels, merged to form the current club. The name Marinos means sailors in Spanish. The Marinos play in the J-League, Japan’s highest division. They are one of the most successful clubs in the whole of Japan, having won 3 J-League titles and been runners up twice. However, success has started to dwindle, with their last title being in 2004. They have won all of their 6 games this season though, putting them on top of the J-League. Well known Argentine, Osvaldo Ardilles, managed Yokohoma from January 2000 to December 2000. Japanese legend Shunsuke Nakamura started his professional career at the Marinos, and now has returned!

Yokohoma is just 20 minutes from the capital Tokyo, and, like Tokyo is a modern, sprawling metropolis. It has the second largest population in Japan, with 3.7million residents. It’s a popular spot for Japanese couples going on dates and has distinct neighborhoods, such as a Chinatown district. The city has grown rapidly over the past decades due to its large port. Visiting the Yokohoma marine tower is a must, as it provides great views over the city from its 106 metre high vantage point. The tower lights up at night, casting an impressive glow over parts of the city.

Marinos have two stadiums which they play at, the Nissan Stadium, which with 72,000 seats is the biggest in Japan and, the Mitsuzawa Stadium, which holds roughly 15,000. The Nissan Stadium is also known as International Stadium Yokohama and hosted the Final of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It has also hosted several FIFA Club World Cup finals. The Mitsuzawa Stadium while being a lot smaller is preferred by most Marinos fans, due to its friendly atmosphere.

The match to see: Yokohama Efu Marinosu V Yokohoma FC. This inter-city clash means a lot, as Yokohoma FC were formed after Flügels supporters, whose club dissapperead while merging with the Marinos to form Yokohama Efu Marinosu. As a result, Yokohoma FC hate Yokohoma Efu Marinosu with a passion! Yokohoma FC is also the only team in Japan owned and run by its supporters, in a model a bit like the one in place at Barcelona. This clash usually gets very heated, and also draws the biggest attendances of the Marinos’ season.

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