• Kyodo

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Keisuke Honda made his final appearance for AC Milan on Sunday, making only his second start of the Serie A season in a 2-1 defeat at Cagliari.

Honda, who took to Twitter last week to announce his departure from the San Siro after 3½ years, was handed the captain’s armband by manager Vincenzo Montella for his first 90-minute appearance of the campaign.

Montella sang the Japan international’s praises for his attitude even though he only played Honda nine times all season, and just twice in the starting line-up.

“He’s the consummate professional,” Montella said of naming the 30-year-old captain. “It was his last match with Milan, and I thought he deserved it.”

Honda, whose transfer this summer will not carry a fee, has already been linked with several clubs, although he reportedly is keen to stay in Europe.

“Unfortunately, I could not play like a No. 10 as often as I would have liked in these last 3½ years,” Honda said, according to Italian television.

“But I never gave up and did the best I could. I approached every game and training session with all my passion.”

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