Ruy Ramos, one of the pioneers of professional football in Japan

Ruy Ramos, one of the pioneers of professional football in Japan

More than 100 years, the Japanese-Brazilian cultural exchange has left an extensive legacy in culture. Japanese in Asia, Brazilians in America, both sharing large ethnic contributions, artistic, professionals, and in certain cases, also sports. Sergio Echigo, nicknamed "Stretch", It was perhaps the first prominent footballer root nipo-brasileiras. Paulista birth, It is one of about 1,500,000 Brazilians of Japanese descent who inhabit this metropolis, who they are also known as nikkei.

In 1963, It was a key element for the right Corinthians Prairie, where he shone with his famous gambetas, some used later by his partner, the outstanding and historic rivellino. Years later, He played in Japan for the team of the company Towa State Develoment, that for years 70, He had a team of workers of that company amateur team, and is the forerunner of today's professional team Shonan Bellmare. At the same time, two nikkei, highlighted amateur teams playing in a still incipient Japanese football, They were Nelson Yoshimura and George Yonashiro.

But the real story to which we refer, began when Yonashiro, Nikkei native of Sao Paulo, he made a discovery that years later, miscegenation would print that peculiar to Japanese football. In January 1977, a guy lanky, of 19 years, It was visoreado by Yonashiro, who watched him from the ranks of junior level team named FC Saaji. Your name, Ruy Ramos.

Ruy Ramos with Japanese shirt.
Ruy Ramos with Japanese shirt.

Brazilian-Japanese best known in the world of football

Born in Mendes, a small town on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro 1957, Ramos received teaching football by his father, who died when Ruy had little 6 years. This situation forced the family to move to Sao Paulo, to the house of an aunt.

To the 17 He decided to leave school to pursue football, something his mother did not like too. With few opportunities to stand out in a country paragon of talent, Yonashiro suggested emigrate with him to Japan, where he had the opportunity to play football for money in the club Yomiuri FC, which he belonged to the homonymous newspaper.

During his career he excelled in midfield, but he played in other sectors of the field, such as defense and the front. However, arrival in the country of the Rising Sun brought adjustment problems, in a culture too complicated for Westerners. further, Ramos had a temper, which it earned him an expulsion for one year after a sneaky entry on a player Nissan (He evolved after Yokohama F. Marinos). Once the suspension is fulfilled, Ramos became big plan to win two consecutive titles scorer. The winning streak brought him such good luck, that and filled Popularity, in this same time he met his wife Shimizu Hatsune, (who died in 2011, cancer victim).

However, his career had ups and downs, one of them, result of a motorcycle accident in 1981, when he traveled with his wife who was unhurt. As a result he had a fractured tibia and fibula removed him from the courts and made him fall into depression. Hatsune, He suffered the scorn of Ramos, who upset about his own condition, he walked for a while performing hospital visits him.

But nevertheless, the girl did not turn in their care, although Ramos, He took refuge for a while in alcohol to drown the pain of not playing for a long period of time. Once overcome its crisis, almost a year later, Ramos returned discreetly to 1982 and consolidated the following year, to convert 10 goals in the semiprofessional league season.

The following year he married Hatsune, and to 1985, the Yomiuri was invited to play the Kirin Cup, Santos won by Brazil, and in which the results were not expected for Yomiuri. During the second half of the decade of the 80, the top two teams of the then Japan Football League, the Yomiuri and Nissan, They decided to join forces with plans to start development of a new project. The J-League began to savored and more and more foreigners began to swell the ranks of Japanese clubs. Ramos received the suggestion to naturalize Japanese, something that did not look favorably at first. however, a history of several years, coupled with his marriage to a Japanese woman, They made him lean toward such a decision. And as Japanese adopted the name of Rui Ramosu.

Ruy Ramos Kazu Miura with another legend of Japanese football.
Ruy Ramos along with Kazu Miura another legend of Japanese football.

finally 1993, He waiting paid off and the first season was played J-League, whose institutional creation occurred a year earlier. By that time the clubs were representing companies, but they had transpired professionalism, that is to say, now professional footballers were hired to create an elite championship.

Ten teams contesting the title, the biggest attraction was Zico, who he was hired by the Kashiwa Antlers. But he not overshadowed the figure of Ramos, who soon became the star of Verdy Kawasaki (Antes Yomiuri FC) and it was characterized by his height and hair look curly beard and quirky.

First call with Japan

For 1992, Ramos was called to integrate the first professional Japanese team, becoming the first pure Western, to play for that team. With the combined, He won the Asian Cup the same year and 1993 He witnessed the sad disqualification in the qualifying to the World Cup 94. For United States 95, Ramos said goodbye to the absolute Japanese in a match against Brazil, where the Japanese lost 5-1. Despite being Brazilian, Amazon for many players was a complete stranger.

Ruy Ramos myth of Japanese football.

Ramos continued his career at Verdy, getting eight championships between leagues, and Supercopa cups. Had a team Yomiuri out in 1995, because it did not go into Emerson Leao plans, who occupied the bench. He played three years at Kyoto Purple Sanga and returned in the 98 the club he loves, only to withdraw the 39 years. In that year already involved in selecting Wagner Lopes, who followed the tradition of Ramos, It is the second Brazilian no Japanese roots in Japanese dress coat.

In its active phase, Such was his popularity, even the video game company Nintendo, He issued a football game with his name. A retirement, Ramos began a career as a technical. In the professional field he led to Kashiwa Reysol, al Tokyo Verdy (antes Yomiuri FC y Verdy Kawasaki) and FC Gifu. He also led the combined Japanese beach soccer and futsal. He also started a career as an entrepreneur and musician, a traditional Brazilian group in which her daughter is the interpreter.

Ramos's career is important because it is the turning point of a great exodus of Brazilian players to the ranks of the Japanese teams. Ramos left a legacy, because after him, It has been three Brazilians who have played for the Japanese national team, even in World Cups: Wagner Lopez (1998), Alessandro Santos (2002 Y 2006) and Marcus Tulio Tanaka (2010); Recently, the Dutch and Japanese mother Japanese-born Mike Havenaar, He continued the tradition of naturalized, to play a FIFA U-20 in 2007.

Havenaar the new Japanese tower.
Havenaar with the national team of Japan. PHOTO: As

Sergio Castillo

Historian football and other sports. anthropological identities footballing visionary. I've posted for football. You can read me in and and follow me on @ scastillo14. México D.F.


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