Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008
Japan and Urawa Reds midfielder Keita Suzuki was named 2007 Footballer of the Year on Wednesday in a poll of Japanese soccer writers. The 26-year-old Suzuki, who played a pivotal role in helping Urawa clinch their first Asian Champions League title and was also an ever present in the Japan national team last year, collected 34 of the 199 votes cast nationwide. Urawa teammates Yuki Abe and Robson Ponte placed second with 32 votes each. Suzuki became the second Urawa player in succession to receive the award after Marcus Tulio Tanaka won it last year.