Gamba Osaka (ガンバ大阪, Gamba Osaka) is a Japanese professional football club based in Suita, Osaka Prefecture. The club plays in the J1 League, which is the top tier of football in the country. The club's name Gamba comes from the Italian word "gamba" meaning "leg" and the Japanese ganbaru (頑張る), meaning "to do your best" or "to stand firm". The club's home stadium is Suita City Football Stadium.
Gamba Osaka is among the most accomplished Japanese clubs, having won several top-tier domestic titles, as well as the 2008 AFC Champions League.
Founded in 1980 as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (which was renamed "Panasonic Corporation" on 1 October 2008) soccer club in Nara Prefecture and a member of the Japan Soccer League. It was mostly made of remaining players and staff of the defunct Yanmar Club, the former B-team of Yanmar Diesel F.C., later to be known as Cerezo Osaka. Gamba Osaka was an original member ("Original Ten") of the J.League in 1993.
In 2005, the club claimed its first J.League championship on a dramatic final day during which any of five clubs could have claimed the championship. Gamba needed to win, and have cross town rivals Cerezo Osaka draw or lose. Gamba defeated a valiant Kawasaki Frontale 4–2, while victory was snatched from Cerezo by a last-minute FC Tokyo equalizer. In an AFC Champions League match in 2006, Gamba Osaka defeated Vietnamese side Da Nang FC in a record-equaling victory of 15–0. In the 2008 Pan-Pacific Championship final, Gamba Osaka beat MLS club Houston Dynamo 6–1 to win the tournament, in large part because of Bare who scored 4 goals in the final (5 in all at the tournament). After his brilliant display and having just scored 10 goals in 18 games for Gamba in the domestic league, he was sold to UAE club Al-Ahli for 1 billion yen.
In October 2008, Gamba for the first time in their history, reached the final of the AFC Champions League after defeating fellow Japanese league rivals Urawa Red Diamonds 4–2 on aggregate after a 1–1 draw at home in the first leg, Gamba registered one of the most historic comebacks in Champions League history when they came back from being behind 1–0 before half time to win 1–3 with all goals scored in the second half at Saitama. Gamba Osaka went on to win the 2008 AFC Champions League title after winning 5–0 on aggregate against the giant-killing Australian club Adelaide United in the Final. They became the fifth Japanese club to win the maximum Asian title, after Urawa, Jubilo Iwata, then-company-affiliated Yomiuri (now Tokyo Verdy), and Furukawa Electric (now JEF United Ichihara Chiba).
In December 2008, Gamba made it to the semi finals of the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup after beating Australian club Adelaide United 1–0. They were beaten in the semifinals by 2007–08 Premier League and UEFA Champions League winners Manchester United. On 21 December 2008 they played for third place against Mexican side C.F. Pachuca with Gamba winning the match 1–0.
In December 2012, Gamba were relegated from Division 1 after losing 2–1 to Jubilo Iwata. Gamba finished 17th in the league despite scoring more goals than any other club, including Champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Ultimately, although Gamba had a positive goal difference at the end of the season, Gamba could not overcome their poor defense, which allowed the second most goals in Division 1 after Consadole Sapporo. This also made Gamba Osaka the fastest club to suffer relegation from the top division after winning the AFC Champion's League and playing in the FIFA Club World Cup, the relegation being only four years later. However, the club bounced back in the 2013 season, becoming the J2 Champion and directly promoting to Division 1 again after only one season.
In 2014, Gamba won the Division 1 title, a year after winning the second division, becoming the second club in the professional era to achieve this feat (after Kashiwa Reysol in 2011). That same year, Gamba also became the second club to win the domestic treble (after Kashima Antlers in 2000), by winning the J.League Cup and the Emperor's Cup as well.
Year 2015 saw Gamba Osaka return to the AFC Champions League for the first time since 2012, where they advanced to the semi-finals before being eliminated by The Tournament Winner and 2015 FIFA Club World Cup Fourth Place Guangzhou Evergrande 1–2 on aggregate. Domestically, Gamba Osaka advanced to the final of both the J.League Cup and the J1 League Championship, losing to Kashima Antlers 0–3 and Club World Cup Third Place Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3–4 respectively. Gamba Osaka successfully defended their status as Emperor's Cup winners, defeating Urawa Red Diamonds 2–1.
This page also has a version in other languages: Гамба Осака (русский)