Shunsuke Nakamura: Celtic favourite set to retire at the end of the season aged 44

Shunsuke Nakamura is set to retire from football, 13 years after leaving Celtic.

The 44-year-old has been playing for Yokohama FC since 2019 and made his first appearance since May on Sunday in a 3-2 defeat. The city’s second side have, however, won promotion back to the top-flight. According to reports in Japan, however, the former Parkhead favourite will be hanging up his boots at the end of the season with one game remaining.

Signed by Gordon Strachan for £2.5million, Nakamura spent four seasons with Celtic between 2005 and 2009, helping the club win three league titles, a Scottish Cup and two League Cups. On an individual level, he produced numerous memorable moments during his time in Scotland, including a famous free-kick against Manchester United in the Champions League, a title-clinching strike at Kilmarnock and a fabulous hit against Rangers, becoming the first Japanese player to score in an Old Firm clash. Either side of his time at Celtic, he had spells in Serie A with Reggina and La Liga with Espanyol.

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The playmaker, who amassed 98 caps for his country, returned to Japan in 2010 and would have seven more seasons with Yokohama F. Marinos, the club he started his career at. By the time he had moved to Jubilo Iwata he had played more than 400 for the Marinos. In both spells he was crowned Japanese Football of the Year and JLeague MVP.

Nakamura becomes the second former Celtic star set to retire from football with Mikael Lustig having announced he was doing so last week.

Shunsuke Nakamura is set to retire at the age of 44. Picture: SNS

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