Diamond (Japan), Feyenoord (Holland), Urawa Red Diamond (Japan)
Shinji Ono (September 27, 1979 - , born in Numazu, Shizuoka) is a
Japanese football player, who plays as a midfielder for the
Japanese national team and Feyenoord.
Ono is one of the biggest stars in Asian football. He started
like most other Japanese footballers at the college level, where
he immediately stood out. As soon as he reached the legal
playing age of 17 he was offered a professional contract by many
professional Japanese clubs. Ono chose his childhood favorite
team, the Urawa Red Diamonds.
After his third season (2000-2001) Urawa knew they couldn't keep
him any longer. By this time Ono had caught the attention of all
big clubs in Europe and seemed on his way to Borussia Dortmund;
however, Feyenoord swept him away and left Borussia empty-handed
(ironically that same season Ono helped Feyenoord beat Borussia
in the UEFA Cup Final).
His playmaking ability caused him to emerge that season as a fan
favourite. In the next season, however, he never quite reached
his usual high level because of injuries and a period of 3 years
with no vacations. When the season ended, the hopes of "het
legioen" were high for the next season, but again Ono failed to
shine. Now, 11 games in to the 2005-2006 season Shinji is once
again injured, although he has regained his old form in the
matches he did play.
As of December 2005, Feyenoord is trying to offload Ono back to
his old club Urawa Reds of Japan. After an unsuccessful attempt
to staying in European competition, Ono finally agreed to return
to J-League by agreeing a 3 year deal with Urawa Reds.