Soccer: J1 record goal scorer Okubo to retire at end of season

© Kyodo News

Former Japan forward Yoshito Okubo, the J-League top flight's record scorer with 191 goals, will retire at the end of the season, his club Cerezo Osaka said Friday.

The 39-year-old began his career at Cerezo in 2001 and had spells at Mallorca and Wolfsburg, with whom he won the German Bundesliga in 2009, before he became the J1 top scorer for three straight seasons from 2013 with Kawasaki Frontale.

Known for his aggressive playing style, Okubo also helped Japan reach the knockout phase at the 2010 World Cup and played in the 2014 tournament. He scored six goals in 60 games for the national team.

"I'm sorry my playing style has caused trouble to players and fans of many teams," Okubo, who scored six goals in 26 games in the J1 this season, said in a statement.

"Wherever I went, the presence of the fans supporting me closely always gave me courage. I really thank you for my 20 years in the game."

Okubo also played for Vissel Kobe, FC Tokyo, Jubilo Iwata and Tokyo Verdy during his career.

Okubo and Cerezo can still win a title this season as the club have reached the semifinals of the Emperor's Cup.