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Homare Sawa

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHomare•Sawa
Used nameHomare•Sawa
Original name澤•穂希
Born6 September 1978 in Tokyo, Tokyo (JPN)
Measurements164 cm / 55 kg
AffiliationsVerdy Kawasaki, Kawasaki (JPN) / Tokyo Verdy, Chofu (JPN) / INAC Kobe Leonessa, Kobe (JPN)
NOC(s) Japan


Homare Sawa was captain of the Japanese team that won the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, with a 3-1 victory over USA in a penalty shootout in the final. She was awarded the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball of the tournament and later named the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. Sawa was a fixture on the national team playing in six FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments (1991-2015). The next year, Sawa led Japan to her only Olympic medal, a 2012 silver in London, having competed in four Olympic Games, finishing seventh in 1996 and 2004, and fourth in 2008 in Beijing.

At the age of 15, Sawa made her Japanese international debut, scoring four goals against the Philippines. Long considered Japan’s finest female footballer, she made her debut in Japan’s domestic league at 12. Professionally, Sawa played with the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) from 2001 to 2003. In 2004 she was named Women’s Player of the Year for the Asian Football Confederation, and in 2009 and 2010, Sawa was part of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS).

A national hero in Japan, Sawa played a huge role in the unlikely rise of Nadeshiko, (as the women’s national team is called), from underdogs to world champions and it has pushed women’s football into the spotlight for the first time in Japan.

Sawa was introduced to football at the age of six when she went to watch her brother play and the coach asked her if she wanted to join in, but there were no teams for girls so she was the only girl on a boys’ team. In 2015, Sawa married former Vegalta Sendai football player Hiroaki Tsujikami.


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1996 Summer Olympics Football (Football) Football, Women Olympic Japan 7 Representing Japan    
2004 Summer Olympics Football (Football) Football, Women Olympic Japan 7 Representing Japan    
2008 Summer Olympics Football (Football) Football, Women Olympic Japan 4 Representing Japan    
2012 Summer Olympics Football (Football) Football, Women Olympic Japan 2 Silver Representing Japan    

Special Notes