• Kyodo


Former Japan forward Takayuki Suzuki said he wants go into coaching as he announced his retirement on Monday.

“I need to study so I can get my badge,” said the 39-year-old Suzuki, who finished his 21-year career with JEF United Chiba in the J. League second division. JEF finished the season in ninth place.

“I ran my heart out. There’s nothing left for me to do after 21 years. I have no regrets.

“My desire to move on to the next phase in my life outweighed the one of continuing my career. I realized it sometime in October when I was training.”

Suzuki made just two appearances in J2 this season. He is best known for scoring Japan’s first goal at the 2002 World Cup against Belgium.

Suzuki, who won 55 caps and scored 11 international goals, spent the bulk of his career with Kashima Antlers. He also played in Belgium, Serbia and in Major League Soccer in the United States.

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