8/16/2018 2:08:31 PM (GMT+3)

Chance to play with Victory changed my retirement plan: Honda

Chance to play with Victory changed my retirement plan: Honda

MELBOURNE: Japanese star Keisuke Honda said he had wanted to retire after the World Cup, but the chance to play with Melbourne Victory “changed” his mind.

Victory’s new marquee man was unveiled at a packed Press conference on Wednesday and declared he was excited about getting down to work with the A-League champions.

“I’m so happy to be here. I’m so glad that I can try a new challenge in my career,” Honda said. "

“I'm 32 years old. I was thinking to quit my career after the World Cup. But luckily this club [gave] me a great offer which has changed my career."

The 32-year-old, who has played 98 times and scored 37 goals for the Samurai Blue, also spoke about how he’s looking forward to settling in Australia and also touched on his role as general manager cum coach of the Cambodian national team.

Honda stressed that his focus is on Melbourne Victory and his role with Cambodia would not affect his bid to help steer the club to greater heights.

“I changed my mind after I spoke to the club. Kevin [coach Kevin Muscat] said to me that he really wants to succeed as a club. He's an ambitious person, and so am I so I'm really inspired by him,” said Honda, who shot to fame at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when his goals helped Japan reach the last 16.

While Honda retired from international football following the World Cup, he was close to calling it quits altogether before interest from Victory convinced him to keep playing.

To have a player of his experience, calibre and marketability will also boost the A-League's image and reputation within the Asian region and around the world," said Football Federation Australia chief David Gallop.

(Courtesy: www.a-league.com.au/AFP)