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Japan great Honda joins Rio’s Botafogo

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Japan veteran Keisuke Honda has joined Brazilians Botafogo, the player and club announced on social media on Friday.

The 33-year-old former AC Milan midfielder left Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem in December less than two months after joining the Eredivisie team and playing just four matches.

“Hi, how are you? My name is Keisuke Honda and I play for Botafogo. See you soon in Rio,” Honda said in Portuguese in a video on his Twitter account.

Shortly afterwards, the club confirmed his signing with an animation inspired by Japanese cartoons of the 1980s.

Honda is not the first foreign star to sign for Botafogo at the end of his career.

Dutch great Clarence Seedorf — the only man to win the Champions League with three different clubs — joined in 2012 and enjoyed a successful 18-month stint in Rio de Janeiro, scoring 24 goals in 81 matches.

Botafogo’s most famous son, though, was the wing wizard and two-time World Cup winner Garrincha, who lit up Brazilian pitches in the 1950s and 60s.

Honda is one of Japan’s greatest ever players, having scored 37 goals in 98 international matches.

He helped his country win the 2011 Asian Cup and played in three World Cups, scoring four goals.

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