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Why Honda won't be returning to play in Japan

07:19 EAT 21/05/2019
Keisuke Honda Melbourne Victory
The Victory star has confirmed he won't be playing in the A-League or J-League next season

Ahead of his final Melbourne Victory game, Keisuke Honda is on the lookout for a new club but confirmed he won't be returning to play in Japan.

While determined to play on until the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo where he wants to compete as an overage player, the 32-year-old is determined to find a club that's not in his homeland.

"I will not go back to Japan for playing soccer," Honda said on Tuesday. 

"Japan is a very good country and I like Japan, I am Japanese.

"I like challenging new things, Japan is too comfortable for me. I am afraid if I stay in Japan I don't challenge myself anymore."

Honda began his professional career with J-League side Nagoya Grampus in 2004 before a series of overseas moves saw him play in the Netherlands, Russia, Italy, Mexico and most recently Australia. 

The Japanese midfielder impressed during his one season in the A-League scoring seven goals and contributing seven assists across 20 league appearances.

Victory would ultimately fall to a 6-1 defeat to Sydney FC in the semi-finals of the competition after finishing the regular season in third.

Honda voicing his concern that the A-League might not be getting the best out of local talent. 

"So Australia and a very good country like Japan [are perhaps] too comfortable, too good to leave, so maybe not a good environment for athletes to be hungry for success," he said. 

"It's not necessary to make a crazy effort.

"Young players need to think about it and they have to decide themselves what they want to achieve."

Honda's final game for Victory will see him take on Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the Asian Champions League with his side unable to progress to the knockout stages.