Former S-Pulse star Okazaki wins Premier League with Leicester

Former S-Pulse star Okazaki wins Premier League with Leicester

Striker Shinji Okazaki has become the third Japanese player to win the Premier League after he and his Leicester teammates clinched first place with two rounds remaining.

The 30-year-old has five goals in 34 appearances for the newly-crowned champions, who overcame 5000-to-1 odds to stun traditional powers such as Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea.

But Okazaki’s success has its roots in the J.League, where he spent the first six years of his career at Shimizu S-Pulse. He emerged as a key figure at IAI Stadium, scoring 42 goals in 121 league appearances.

Following a third successive season of in which he recorded double digits, Okazaki joined Germany’s Stuttgart in January 2011, spending two and a half seasons there before transferring to Mainz and eventually capturing Leicester’s attention.

The Hyogo native also boasts 48 goals in 100 caps for Japan, including appearances in the 2014 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, as well as the 2011 and 2015 AFC Asian Cups.