• Kyodo

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Koji Nakata, a towering presence in defense for both the J. League’s Kashima Antlers and Japan’s national team will retire at the end of the season, Antlers announced Wednesday.

The 35-year-old, who has also played in France and Switzerland, has appeared in just three games this season for Kashima. Nakata has scored 33 goals in 266 games for Kashima. He played for Japan in both the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

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