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Former Celtic and Japan international Shunsuke Nakamura retires from football

newsonjapan.com -- Oct 25
Shunsuke Nakamura officially retired from football after his Yokohama FC defeated Roasso Kumamoto 4-3 in the J-League 2 on Sunday, October 23.

Nakamura's farewell game occurred in front of more than 20,000 spectators, who wished him a fond farewell. Nakamura came off after 60 minutes to an incredible reception from the home supporters, as Yokohama played a thrilling match versus Roasso Kumamoto.

Nakamura finished the J-League 2 season as the league's oldest member. The 44-year-old joined Yokohama FC in 2019, where he played sparingly. However, Nakamura was able to pass on his knowledge, which helped make him one of Japan's all-time great exports in the world of soccer.

The ex-Japan international will be watching the FIFA World Cup 2022 closely, as Japan kick off the tournament versus Germany. Soccer fans can read the latest bet365のレビュー before signing up for the bookmaker and betting on Japan's matches at the upcoming World Cup tournament.

Nakamura made his first start for Yokohama against Roasso Kumamoto and was given the captain's armband. Although Nakamura retired at 44 years old, he isn't the oldest player currently playing in Japanese soccer. Kazuyoshi Miura is still playing at the ripe old age of 55 for Suzuka Point Getters in Japan's fourth division.

The former international made just six appearances for Yokohama following ankle surgery. It was feared Nakamura would need to be removed before the 60-minute mark due to a knock to his surgically repaired ankle, but he carried on.

In Europe, Nakamura is best remembered for his time at Glasgow Celtic. Nakamura impressed at Italy's Reggina and joined Celtic FC in 2005. The Hoops were not Scotland's dominant side at the time, as Rangers were the Premiership's leading club.

Celtic's poor start to the 2005-06 season influenced manager Gordon Strachan to play Nakamura immediately after being signed from Reggina. Nakamura won match of the match on his debut against Dundee United despite lacking match fitness.

Nakamura went on to star for Celtic until June 2009. The midfielder played 145 matches for Celtic, scoring 31 goals and tallying 36 assists in all competitions. Nakamura's success in Celtic led to current players Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi, and Reo Hatate joining the club in more recent seasons.

The former Japan international went on to great success at Celtic Park and helped the club win several trophies. Celtic won six trophies in total during Nakamura's time at the club, including three Scottish Premiership titles. All three league championships came in consecutive seasons.

Nakamura was famous for his free-kicks while playing for Celtic. One of the most memorable Nakamura moments was against Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United in the Champions League. He scored two incredible set-piece goals in 2006 versus the Red Devils.

With his retirement on October 23, Nakamura ended a 26-year football career. He started with Yokohama F. Marinos before moving to Italy's Reggina. Success in Italy led to the transfer to Celtic where Nakamura achieved his best spell in Europe.

He spent one season at Spain's Espanyol before returning to Yokohama F. Marinos for seven seasons. A brief stop-off at Jubilo Iwata took place before joining Yokohama FC.

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