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Frankfurt’s Japanese veteran Hasebe to retire aged 40

Eintracht Frankfurt’s former Japan defender 40-year-old Makoto Hasebe will hang up his boots and join the backroom staff at the end of the season, the German club said on Wednesday.

The centre-back has played 383 games in the Bundesliga since joining Wolfsburg from Urawa Red Diamonds midway through the 2007-08 season. 

Hasebe made his international debut in 2006, featuring in 114 games for Japan and scoring two goals.

“I have thought about this decision carefully and now I think it is the right time,” Hasebe said in a club statement.  

“After 22 years as a professional footballer, I have decided to end my career.”

Hasebe won the 2011 Asia Cup and captained the Samurai Blue from 2010 until his retirement in 2018.

He won the 2008-09 Bundesliga title with Wolfsburg and moved to Frankfurt in 2014 after one year at Nuremberg. 

At Frankfurt, Hasebe has lifted the German Cup and the Europa League. 

Hasebe will retire as the oldest player in Frankfurt’s history and the fifth-oldest to have played in the Bundesliga. 

He will stay with the club in a coaching capacity.

Frankfurt sporting director Markus Kroesche praised Hasebe, saying “his decision to end his career deserves respect.”

“Makoto has done great things for Eintracht Frankfurt. 

“We are pleased that he will remain with our club in order to pass on his many years of experience to our young players.”

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