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Former Japan defender Yamaguchi retires

Kyodo

Kyoto Sanga defender Satoshi Yamaguchi, whose 448 J1 games are 10th all-time, has retired, the J. League second-division side said Tuesday.

The 37-year-old native of Kochi Prefecture, played in the top flight with JEF United Ichihara Chiba and Gamba Osaka between 1999 and 2011. He scored one goal in 17 games for Kyoto last year.

Yamaguchi contributed to Gamba’s numerous titles — including the Nabisco Cup, Emperor’s Cup, AFC Champions League and Pan-Pacific Championship — during his stint with the Osaka-based club from 2001-2011. He also played in two international matches in 2009.

Yamaguchi was selected for the J. League’s Best Eleven for three consecutive years from 2006.

“I’ve made lots of memories, both good and bad, since my J. League debut at the age of 17,” said Yamaguchi in a statement released through his club. “I feel blessed for everything that happened in my 20-year career.”