Soccer

Nadeshiko League legend Shinobu Ono hangs up cleats

Kyodo

Former Japan striker Shinobu Ono, the all-time top goal scorer in the women’s Nadeshiko League, has retired from soccer after 21 seasons, her former club Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara said Wednesday.

The 36-year-old helped Japan win the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2011 and finish runner-up in the next tournament four years later. She also played a key role on the silver-winning team at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

“I’ve gotten support from so many people since I made my pro debut in 1999,” Ono said in a statement.

“Going forward, the plan is to contribute to the world of soccer in a coaching role.”

Ono scored 40 international goals in 139 caps, and her 182 goals are the most in the history of the Nadeshiko League. She is also a three-time league MVP and four-time top scorer, having been named to the Best XI nine times.

She last played for Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara, but left the club at the end of last season.

Ono started her career with NTV Beleza in 1999 in what was formerly known as the L League, then went on to play for clubs including INAC Kobe Leonessa, French side Olympique Lyonnais and English side Arsenal Ladies.

A retirement press conference is scheduled for Feb. 12.

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