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Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011

Defender Tanaka to hang up boots


Fukuoka — Former Japan defender Makoto Tanaka will retire at the end of the season, his team Avispa Fukuoka said on Wednesday.

Tanaka, 36, joined Jubilo Iwata in 1994 and contributed to three league championships. He was part of the "Miami Miracle" team that beat Brazil at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and has been capped 32 times for Japan.

Tanaka moved to Avispa in 2009 but was limited to just four games this season. Fukuoka was relegated to the second division for the third time on Sunday.

"I haven't decided what I will do yet, but I would like to continue to do my best to contribute to the development of Japanese soccer," Tanaka said in a statement.

Tanaka scored 10 goals in 357 first division J. League matches.

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