Soccer / J. League

Seigo Narazaki, longtime Grampus and Japan national team goalkeeper, retires at 42

Kyodo

Nagoya Grampus said Tuesday that former Japan international goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki has announced his retirement following a record 631 games in the J. League first division.

The 42-year-old was a member of four World Cup squads and played all four of the Samurai Blue’s games at the 2002 tournament jointly hosted by Japan and South Korea.

A Nara Prefecture native, Narazaki joined J. League side Yokohama Flugels (since merged with Yokohama Marinos to form Yokohama F. Marinos) out of high school in 1995.

Narazaki transferred to Grampus in 1999 and remained with the club for the rest of his professional career.

He became the first goalkeeper to win the J. League’s MVP award in 2010 after helping Grampus clinch their first championship.

He did not make any appearances for Grampus in 2018, but was on the bench for four of the club’s Levain Cup matches.

He played 29 J2 games for Grampus during the previous season, helping them win promotion back to the first division.

Narazaki earned 77 caps for Japan’s senior national team and played a total of 770 club matches including J2, cup and Asian Champions League games.

He joins former Japan teammates Yuji Nakazawa, Mitsuo Ogasawara and Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi in announcing his retirement following the 2018 J. League campaign.