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11/12/2013

Marinos midfielder Nakamura named J. League MVP

 Yokohama F. Marinos midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura was named the J. League Player of the Year as the J. League Awards for the 2013 season were announced on Tuesday in Yokohama.
 The 35-year-old former Japan international, who also won the prize in 2000, became the first player to win the award twice.
 “I’m happy and also thankful to the people around me,” Nakamura said. “I will continue working hard to be worthy of this award and contribute to Japanese football as much as I can.”
 Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s Moriyasu Hajime, who guided his side to the league title for the second straight season, won the Manager of the Year prize.
 The Best XI Players of the Year featured seven first-timers – Nasu Daisuke of Urawa Reds, Morishige Masato of FC Tokyo, Yamaguchi Hotaru and his Cerezo Osaka teammate Kakitani Yoichiro, Osako Yuya of Kashima Antlers, Okubo Yoshito of Kawasaki Frontale and Kawamata Kengo of Albirex Niigata – while Yokohama’s Nakazawa Yuji was selected for the sixth time.
 Joining them were Sanfrecce goalkeeper Nishikawa Shusaku and his teammate Aoyama Toshihiro, both named for the second straight year, and Nakamura.
 Kawasaki striker Okubo claimed the top goal-scorer prize for the first time after scoring 26 goals in 33 appearances.
 The Young Player of the Year award went to Cerezo Osaka’s 18-year-old forward Minamino Takumi.
 His teammate Kakitani was honored with the Goal of the Year award – a new prize introduced from this year – for his brilliant strike in the home game against Kashima Antlers on November 30.
 The Fair Play Award for individual players went to Sato Hisato of Sanfrecce and Kakitani, while the Prince Takamado Cup Fair Play Award for teams was awarded to Hiroshima.
 Former Japan international Nakayama Masashi, who played for Jubilo Iwata and Consadole Sapporo, Doi Yoichi formerly of Kashiwa Reysol, FC Tokyo and Tokyo Verdy, and former Hiroshima and Fagiano Okayama player Hattori Kota were honored with Special Service Awards for their great contributions to the J. League.