Japan Football Hall of Fame
JFA Hall of Fame Inductee
Special Selection: 16th Japan Football Hall of Fame in 2019
- Born in Yamagata on 24 May 1958
In 2007, Sasaki was appointed as the head coach of the Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team). He led the team to win their first ever title at the East Asian Football Championship (currently the EAFF E-1 Football Championship) in 2008. In the same year, he led the team to advance into the semi-finals at the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing, which was the team’s best finish at a world competition. In 2011, he led the Nadeshiko Japan to win the FIFA Women's World Cup (Germany), and his team was awarded with the People's Honour Award and the Medal with Purple Ribbon for their accomplishment. That year, he was also awarded with the Sports Merit Award by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. At the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or, he was named as the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women's Football. He led the team to win the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London, which was the first ever Olympic silver medal won in Japanese football history. In 2015, his team qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup as the defending champions and finished as the runners-up. During his tenure with the team, he has guided the Nadeshiko Japan to become a world powerhouse.