Cerezo Osaka (セレッソ大阪, Seresso Ōsaka?) is a J. League Division 1 association football team. The team name Cerezo means cherry tree in Spanish, which is also the flower of Ōsaka city.
The team's home town is Osaka, Japan and plays at Nagai Ball Gall Field, with some bigger games played at Nagai Stadium. It practices at Minamitsumori Sakura Sports Park, Maishima Sports Island, and Amagasaki Yanmar Diesel Ground.
A fictional character named Teppei Kisugi from the popular Captain Tsubasa manga, becomes a professional soccer player and joins Cerezo Osaka.
The team, originally called Yanmar Diesel, started in 1957 as the company team of Yanmar and was an original founder of the now-disbanded Japan Soccer League. With four Japanese league titles to its credit, it was a mainstay of the JSL First Division until 1990 when it was first relegated, and thus joined the former Japan Football League in 1992.
In 1993, the club incorporated as Osaka Football Club Ltd., and adopted the name Cerezo after a public contest.
In 1994, it won the JFL championship and was promoted to the J1 League in 1995. This also coincided with a run to the finals of the Emperor's Cup, which they lost to long-time league rivals Bellmare Hiratsuka; this was the last final to date in which a non-top-flight club was a finalist.
In 2001, it finished in the last spot and was relegated to the J2 league. It managed to finish in second for the 2002 season and returned to J1 in 2003.
In 2005 they came close to becoming J-League champions, and topped the league into the last match day. In their final match, they led F.C. Tokyo with minutes to go and were on course to win the title. However, Tokyo equalised on 89 minutes, and a number of other late goals around Japan meant they finished 5th. Arch-rivals Gamba Osaka, who were originally formed from players from Yanmar Club, the former B-squad of Yanmar Diesel, ended up winning the title. Cerezo returned to J2 for the 2007 season after finishing second to last in 2006. In 2009 they were promoted and returned to the top division, where they have spent the majority of their career.