Longtime Nagoya Grampus striker Keiji Tamada will become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2014 J-League season, his club announced earlier this week.
In addition to a distinguished J-League career with 341 appearances, the 34-year-old earned 72 caps for Japan’s national team, participating in two World Cups and scoring a goal against Brazil in Germany 2006. His November 20, 2010 goal against Shonan Bellmare clinched Grampus’ first-ever J-League title, making them the only champions to clinch before the final day of the season.
“We’re grateful to a club legend,” a team official told Sponichi,“but this is a tough decision we have to make in order to advance the next generation of players.”
Tamada reportedly hopes to continue his career in Australia’s A-League or America’s Major League Soccer, following in the path of players such as Akira Kaji and Daigo Kobayashi. He is expected to make his final home appearance on Saturday when Grampus host relegation-threatened Omiya Ardija.