Soccer-Former Japan captain Hasebe to retire at end of season


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa Conference League - Group G - Aberdeen v Eintracht Frankfurt - Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen, Scotland, Britain - December 14, 2023 Eintracht Frankfurt's Makoto Hasebe looks dejected as Aberdeen's Duk celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

(Reuters) - Former Japan captain Makoto Hasebe will retire at the end of the season, the Eintracht Frankfurt defender said.

Hasebe made 114 appearances for Japan, playing in three World Cups and guiding them to the Asian Cup title in 2011. He announced his retirement from international football in 2018 after Japan reached the last 16 of the World Cup in Russia.

The 40-year-old has been at Frankfurt for 10 seasons and made over 300 appearances for the German side, winning the Europa League title in 2022 and the German Cup in 2018.

He also won the Bundesliga with VfL Wolfsburg in 2009.

"I will retire from football at the end of this season. I'm announcing that today because I want to concentrate on the run-in with the team," Hasebe told reporters on Wednesday.

"We really want to secure sixth place and I'm looking forward to watching Eintracht in European action from the couch next season, or travelling with the great fans and watching the games from the stands."

Hasebe added that he will be joining Frankfurt's academy as a coach after his retirement.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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