Shunsuke Nakamura has confirmed that his return to Japan and Yokohama F Marinos is all about the World Cup.
The midfielder returned to the J-League for the first time since 2002 last week after a disappointing spell in Spain with Espanyol.
Nakamura struggled for playing time in La Liga and with the World Cup getting closer, the 31 year-old came home for regular football.
"The World Cup is getting close, and I wanted to be somewhere where I could play," he said. "I want to bring a good game to the World Cup,” Nakamura said according to the Daily Yomiuri.
"I have some bitter thoughts remaining, but if you don't move forward, it means nothing," he added.
"I understood it may have been risky to transfer [to Espanyol] so soon before the World Cup, but if I don't run into a high wall, I won't extend myself. That's the way I am.
"I think this is a new challenge, and I want to do my utmost. I want to contribute to making Marinos stronger."
"About a year and a half ago I was thinking about returning to Japan, and I wasn't thinking about joining any club but Marinos," he said. "I am happy to have arrived here without any hangups."
Nakamura has been called up to face Bahrain on Wednesday at Toyota Stadium.