Much like his conspicuously calm, unflappable playing style, Yasuhito Endo, who holds the Japan and J. League first-division appearance record, signed off without a fuss.

The 43-year-old midfielder, dubbed "the heart of Japan" by former national team manager Takeshi Okada, guided Jubilo Iwata to J1 promotion last season before drawing the curtain on his 26-year career suddenly and unceremoniously on Jan. 9, without even holding a news conference.

"I felt it's not like me to hold one and talk seriously, and offseason is offseason. I want to thoroughly enjoy it," a typically even-toned Endo said in a five-minute post on YouTube, the closest thing he made to a farewell speech.