KASHIMA ANTLERS

One of the most popular German players of his generation, Hans-Peter Briegel was known primarily for his physical abilities, and his original sport was athletics, but he went on to play 72 times for West Germany. 

With his socks pulled down, he usually played as a left back and was affectionally known as the 'Panzer' for his combative nature.
He would go on to win a Serie A title with Verona and German Footballer of the year in 1985.

Formed in 1947, Antlers is derived from the city name, Kashima, which literally means "deer island".
Since the J-League's creation in 1993, Kashima have proved by far Japan's most successful club team, having won the league title seven times, the J. League Cup three times and the Emperor's Cup three times.

In 1991, Zico interrupted his political career when he accepted an offer to join the Sumitomo Metal Industries Soccer Club in Kashima, to help the club secure a place in Japan's first fully professional football league that was set to officially launch in 1993 – the J. League. Zico played for Sumitomo in 1992, the last season before the old Japan Soccer League was disbanded, and finished as the league's top scorer. When the new league launched, the small town club, renamed Kashima Antlers, was not expected to compete with richer, more glamorous clubs like Yokohama Marinos and Verdy Kawasaki.

Zico, however, helped the Antlers to win the J.League Suntory Series and a runners-up finish in its inaugural season, leading the club to cement its place among the league's elite.
His discipline, talent and professionalism meshed very well with Japanese culture, and his influence earned him the nickname, "God of Soccer".

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