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Friday, Nov. 14, 2008

Veteran Nanami plans to retire

Kyodo News

Former Japan international midfielder Hiroshi Nanami will end his playing career at the end of the current Japanese soccer season, J. League club Jubilo Iwata said Thursday.

Nanami, who has been capped by Japan 67 times and scored nine goals, was in the lineup for all three games in Japan's World Cup debut at the 1998 finals in France. The 35-year-old has also made 313 appearances in the J. League first division, mostly with Jubilo, helping them to three league titles.

Known for his playmaking abilities and left-foot strikes, Nanami began his professional career at Iwata in 1995 and made his international debut the same year.

Nanami went on to become a midfield linchpin for Japan and was named the man of the tournament at the 2000 Asian Cup in Lebanon, where Japan claimed the second of the three titles they have won in the continental tournament. He also played in the Italian League's first division in the 1999-2000 season with Venezia.



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