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Japan legend Honda leaves Cambodia post after five years

Japan football legend Keisuke Honda left his post as Cambodia’s general manager on Thursday, after a disappointing Southeast Asian Games on home soil.

Honda, an Asian Cup winner with his country who also played for AC Milan, had previously said he would bring an end to his five-year tenure after the Games.

In his swan song, the hosts came third in the five-team group after losses to Indonesia and Myanmar in the men’s tournament, which is played by under-22 teams.

“A project in Cambodia that started in 2018 has ended,” the 36-year-old former attacking midfielder wrote on Twitter, adding he “wasn’t able to finish the last tournament with a satisfying result”.

The Cambodian football association also said it was “regretful” that Honda’s team could not make it past the group stage.

Cambodia’s SEA Games run started brightly with a 4-0 win over unfancied Timor-Leste. But a draw against the Philippines and two subsequent defeats meant they would not make the semi-finals.

Because he lacked the requisite qualifications, Honda was never listed as official coach, but he led the team and was on the sidelines for matches.

As a player, Honda represented his country 98 times and turned out for clubs in Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, Italy, Mexico, Australia and Brazil.

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