Jubilo Iwata midfielder Yasuhito Endo was named the most valuable player in the history of the J.League at a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of Japan’s professional soccer league, which kicked off on May 15, 1993.
At the ceremony in Tokyo on Monday, Endo, who participated remotely, said: “I’m very happy to have been selected from among so many players. I’d like to continue working hard as I’m still an active player.”
Endo, 43, who joined the now-defunct Yokohama Flugels in 1998, has played 672 games in the top-tier J1 division — the most of any footballer in the league’s history.
A former member of the Japan national team, he was chosen as the most valuable player of the J.League’s first three decades, based on voting on the league’s official website.
The J.League’s first MVP, Kazuyoshi Miura, who is still playing professional soccer in Portugal at the age of 56, was voted as one of the J.League’s best 11 players.