SAO PAULO (AP) — Veteran Japanese midfielder Keisuke Honda is leaving Brazilian club Botafogo after coming to the end of his contract.
The 34-year-old former Japan international confirmed his departure on social media Wednesday after reports linked him with a move to Europe.
Honda signed as a free agent until the end of the year but had a fairly disappointing stint at the club, scoring three goals in 27 matches, including two from the penalty spot.
“As you know, I am leaving Botafogo,” Honda wrote. “At first, I accepted all your criticism that I could not bring results. Criticism is natural and I am not giving excuses. I have also been disappointed and I am sorry.”
Botafogo is among the top clubs in Rio de Janeiro but has struggled in recent seasons, often finishing near the bottom of the Brazilian league standings. This season it is fighting against relegation, sitting in 19th place after 27 matches.
Before Botafogo, Honda’s last club was Vitesse in the Netherlands. He also played for CSKA Moscow, AC Milan and México’s Pachuca.
Honda is considered one of Japan’s greatest players, having played in the last three World Cups. He scored 37 goals in 98 matches with the national team.
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