Vegalta, Marquinhos part ways

SENDAI (Kyodo) Former J. League MVP Marquinhos has been released from his contract with Vegalta Sendai at the request of the Brazilian striker, who the J1 club said is in a state of “psychological shock.”

Vegalta said on Saturday that the 35-year-old Marquinhos is no longer in a frame of mind to play soccer after witnessing the devastating effects of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Miyagi Prefecture firsthand.

Marquinhos, who was heading into his 11th season in Japan, helped Kashima Antlers win an unprecedented three consecutive J. League titles from 2007 to 2009 under Oswaldo Oliveira.

Marquinhos was the league MVP in 2008, when he was the top scorer with 21 goals in 30 games.