Cerezo Osaka compete in the J League Division 1 (J1), the highest level in Japanese soccer.
Their predecessor, Yanmar Diesel Soccer Club, was established by fourteen Yanmar Group employees in 1957.
A member of the Japan Soccer League at its inception in 1965, Yanmar was one of the most significant teams in that competition, playing as a “corporate amateur” team.
In the 1970s, they reached their golden age, with star players such as six-time golden boot winner Kunishige Kamamoto, who also scored 7 goals at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, earning the tournament golden boot, as well as the late Nelson Yoshimura (later known as Daishiro Yoshimura). This team was JSL champions four times, and won the Emperor's Cup three times.
With the inauguration of the J League in 1993, Osaka Soccer Club Co., Ltd. was established, and Yanmar Soccer Club became the parent organization. Thus Cerezo Osaka was born.
The team name Cerezo is Spanish for 'cherry blossom', the city flower of Osaka where Cerezo is based.
In 1994, Cerezo Osaka won the JFL (Japan Football League) and earned a promotion into the J League.
In 1995, they competed at the top level.