Soccer / J. League

FC Tokyo midfielder Ishikawa to retire at end of season

Kyodo

Former Japan midfielder and FC Tokyo player Naohiro Ishikawa has decided to draw the curtain on his 18-year career after this season, the J. League first division side said Wednesday.

The 36-year-old Ishikawa, who joined FC Tokyo from Yokohama F. Marinos in 2002, revealed on his official blog that he has struggled to recover from surgery on his left knee that he underwent last summer and told the club in late June of his desire to retire.

Ishikawa earned four international caps between 2000 and 2009, and was a member of the Under-23 national team at the Athens Olympics in 2004. He helped FC Tokyo win the League Cup in 2004 and 2009.

“I made my comeback last September but I aggravated my left-knee injury and have been in rehab since. I haven’t been recovering the way I had hoped to and it has been frustrating not to be able to contribute to the team on the pitch,” said Ishikawa.

“Still, I hope to play the remainder of the season with more readiness, responsibility and pride than ever,” he said.