Gamba Osaka’s veteran midfielder Yasuhito Endo will join Jubilo Iwata in the J-League second division on loan through January 2021, the two clubs said Monday.
The 40-year-old former Japan international, whose 152 caps and 641 top-tier appearances are both records, has seen less playing time with J1’s Gamba this season, starting in just three of the 11 matches he has played.
“I wanted to take on a new challenge and felt strongly about getting more playing time,” Endo, who spent 20 years with Gamba, told reporters online.
Endo is in the 23rd year of his professional career. After starting in 1998 with the now-disbanded Yokohama Flugels, the Kagoshima native spent the next two years at Kyoto Sanga and joined Gamba in 2001.
Endo was named to the squad for three straight World Cups from 2006 and played an instrumental role in Japan’s round-of-16 finish at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Jubilo, who won three J. League titles in 1997, 1999 and 2002, were relegated for the second time last season and sit 13th in the J2 standings.