Football: Japanese Shinji Okazaki will retire at 37

Former Japan international Shinji Okazaki, who won the Premier League with Leicester City in 2016, will announce his retirement at the end of the season, Japanese media reported on Monday.

Shinji Okazaki with the Leicester jersey during a match against Tottenham on February 10, 2019. AP - Matt Dunham

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The 37-year-old striker played a key role as the Foxes defied the odds to win their first league title under Italian manager Claudio Ranieri: he had scored five goals in 36 league matches played during the 2015-16 season.

Okazaki notably scored a spectacular victorious headed goal against Newcastle to allow Leicester to take a five-point lead at the top of the table with eight matches remaining.

Ranieri said the following season that Okazaki was " 

important for the team because he presses a lot


Okazaki is also the third top scorer in the history of the Japanese selection, with 50 goals scored in 119 caps.

He has participated in three World Cups and was part of the Japanese team that won the Asian Cup in 2011. Okazaki currently plays for Belgian club Sint-Truiden, having joined Spain following leaving Leicester in 2019. He began his career with J-League club Shimizu S-Pulse and played in Germany with Stuttgart and Mainz before signing for Leicester in 2015.


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