Nagoya Grampus’ Narazaki named J-League Player of the Year

Nagoya Grampus veteran goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki has been named the 2010 J-League Player of the Year.

Nagoya Grampus veteran goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki has been named the 2010 J-League Player of the Year.

The 34-year old, who this year retired from the Japan national team, becomes the first goalkeeper to win the award after a stellar season with the gloves.

Narazaki won the award from a list of 29 nominees after his performances helped Nagoya to their first-ever J-League title and he was delighted when speaking at the J-League awards night on Monday.

"Looking at the people who have won in the past and the faces on this stage, I have to wonder if I deserve this award," Narazaki said. "I owe it to my teammates and the people who have supported me all along.

"It means something that a keeper has finally received this honor and I hope it encourages the other keepers in the league. It was nice enough just to win the championship, but now this. I'm absolutely thrilled.”

In an amazing statistic, Nagoya allowed the second-highest number of shots in the league with 483 — only relegated Shonan Bellmare allowed more with 575 — but still won the championship after letting in the third-fewest goals (37) from the 34 games.

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