ROSTOV-ON-DON, RUSSIA – Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda has hinted that he will end his international career, saying on Monday that the World Cup in Russia will be his last.
Speaking after Japan squandered a two-goal lead and crashed out in the round of 16 after a 3-2 defeat to Belgium, the bleach-blond attacker said, “For me this is my last World Cup, there is no way I can think about four years down the line.”
Honda, 32, made his national team debut in June 2008 and scored two goals at the 2010 finals in South Africa to help Japan reach the round of 16 for the first time on foreign soil.
The former AC Milan player also scored one goal at the 2014 finals in Brazil and was on target in Russia, coming off the bench to salvage a 2-2 draw against Senegal in Japan’s second Group H match.
Honda had looked at risk of missing out on Russia after falling out of favor under previous Samurai Blue head coach Vahid Halilhodzic, who was fired and replaced by Akira Nishino two months before the start of the tournament.