Soccer: Former Japan star Nakamura bids farewell in final game

Shunsuke Nakamura made his farewell appearance before retirement on Sunday, coming off after an hour to huge applause from 20,000-plus spectators as Yokohama FC won 4-3 away to Roasso Kumamoto in the final round of the J-League second division.

The 44-year-old former Japan and Celtic star wore the captain's armband as he started a match for the first time this term, becoming the second oldest player to do so in J2 behind Kazuyoshi Miura, who is active at 55 with fourth-tier Suzuka Point Getters.

Nakamura's trademark left-footed free kick led to a headed effort on target from his teammate in the 37th minute at Egao Kenko Stadium. The midfielder's passing ability was still present, while he also made sliding tackles to carry out his defensive duties.

There was a moment when he sat on the ground with a throbbing right ankle, where he had surgery this season. He was hobbling but with a smile on his face as he came off for the last time.

© Kyodo News