An emotional Shunsuke Nakamura has left Yokohama Marinos after a six year stint with his first ever club.
The midfielder has ‘followed’ his soul to Jubilo Iwata after a difference of opinion about the way Marinos are being managed.
Nakamura has taken a 33% cut in salary to go to Iwata and issued a profound statement to justify his reasons for leaving Marinos.
“My heart was set on retiring here (Marinos),” the Japan Times reported the midfielder saying. “ I never thought of leaving a year ago. I didn’t want to take off the No. 10 shirt I adored.
“(But) every day there were things I felt were wrong. I had to deal with them as captain but that in turn left me with less time to face football.
“I wanted to end (my career) in a way that leaves me no regret, fully burned out. When I thought of a place where I can face football properly, it wasn’t here. I had to choose a different path if I were to reach a goal that was good for me.”
Nakamura is hoping to play for another two years and retire at 40.
In 2005 he joined Celtic days after the 5-0 Champions League defeat to Artmedia Bratislava before going on to play a significant part in three title wins under Gordon Strachan.
The highlight of that spell was without doubt scoring with an incredible free kick against Manchester United that earned Celtic a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Like many of that Celtic side the 2008/09 season proved to be one too many with Nakamura leaving for a short spell with Espanyol before returning to the Marinos.