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Kawasaki Frontale midfielder Kengo Nakamura announced his intention to retire on Sunday, bringing an end to a spectacular 18-year career for one of Japanese soccer’s most storied players.

The announcement came just a day after Nakamura’s 40th birthday, during which he scored the game-winning goal against FC Tokyo to extend Frontale’s record winning streak to 12 games and push the Todoroki Stadium residents a step closer to their third J. League first-division title.

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