Tokyo veteran Ishikawa to retire

Tokyo veteran Ishikawa to retire

FC Tokyo on Wednesday announced the decision of midfielder Naohiro Ishikawa to retire following the conclusion of the 2017 campaign.

The 36-year-old was promoted from Yokohama F. Marinos’ youth system in 2000, joining Tokyo two years later and contributing to all of their titles, including the 2004 and 2009 J.League Yamazaki Nabisco Cup championships.

A member of Japan’s 2004 Athens Olympics squad who earned six caps for the Samurai Blue, he was named to the J.League’s Best XI with 15 goals on the season.

“I’ve worked on rehabilitating my left knee, but recovery has been more difficult than I thought,” said Ishikawa, referring to several surgeries he has received since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in an August 2015 friendly against Frankfurt. 

“I hope that with what little time I have left I can stand on the pitch at Ajinomoto, change the atmosphere, and help create good results.

“As a player, that is how I can repay all of the fans who have fought together with me and everyone who has supported me for so long and express my gratitude.”