Football: Former Samurai Blue stalwart Okazaki set to retire

Sports

Former Japan striker Shinji Okazaki, whose 50 international goals are the third-most in Samurai Blue history, will retire at the end of this season, a source familiar with the matter said Monday.

Okazaki earned 119 caps for Japan and played at three straight World Cups, starting with the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

The 37-year-old has missed much of the ongoing campaign with Belgian top-flight side Sint-Truiden due to injury.

Known for his relentlessness both on and off the ball, Okazaki joined the J-League’s Shimizu S-Pulse in 2005 out of high school in his native Hyogo Prefecture.

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