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Nakamura quits Japan

Veteran midfielder plays his last game for national side

By Razwan Mirza.   Last Updated: 01/07/10 4:37pm

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Nakamura: Calls it a day

Nakamura: Calls it a day

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Former Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura has announced his retirement from international football.

The Japan star spent most of the World Cup on the bench and the 32-year-old confirmed to Japanese media that he has played his last game for his country.

Nakamura is best known for his time in the Scottish Premier League at Celtic, where he made 128 appearances scoring 29 goals and was idolised by the Parkhead faithful.

The midfielder returned to J-League team Yokohama Marinos back in February after struggling with Spanish side Espanyol, where he was mostly used from the bench.

The 32-year-old only made one substitute appearance in South Africa for his country, in the 1-0 defeat to Holland in Durban.

Head coach Takeshi Okada instead opted to use the younger Keisuke Honda as his midfield focus instead of Nakamura, who had been suffering from a long-term ankle injury.

Japan made the second round of the tournament before eventually losing to Paraguay 5-3 on penalties.

Responding to a question about his next game for Japan, Nakamura said: "There won't be one for me. I'm through."

Nakamura helped Celtic to the SPL title three times and is fondly remembered for two free-kicks he scored against Manchester United in 2006 to help the Glasgow outfit reach the Champions League knock-out stage for the first time.

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