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Saturday, Dec. 23, 2006

Veteran Honda, 37, retiring from Antlers

Kyodo News

Veteran Kashima Antlers midfielder Yasuto Honda said Friday he has decided to end his playing career after 14 seasons with the J. League first-division club.

News photo
Kashima Antlers midfielder Yasuto Honda decided to hang up his shoes on Friday. The 37-year-old made 328 league appearances and won 31 caps for Japan. KYODO PHOTO

Honda, 37, who has been left out of Kashima's plans for next season, told club officials of his decision to retire following unsuccessful attempts to move to another J. League team.

Honda has played for Kashima since the J. League's inaugural season in 1993, helping the Ibaraki Prefecture club to the league championship in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2001. He made 328 league appearances and won 31 caps for Japan.

The 166-cm performer scored his first Antlers' goal on July 12, 1993, against Jubilo Iwata. He made his national team debut two years later.

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