Japanese football legend Keisuke Honda is ‘open’ to the idea of playing in the Cambodian Premier League (CPL).
At a recent media conference in the CPL office in Phnom Penh, Honda, 36, said that could happen in the next few years.
Honda, who is currently based in Singapore, was in Cambodia last week for a series of meetings with top CPL officials led by CEO Satoshi Saito, local media and representatives of clubs playing in the CPL, Cambodia’s top football league.
“It will not happen next year, but in the future,” Honda, who is also the current general manager of the Cambodian national football team, said. “I am considering it.”
Honda’s connection to Cambodian football runs deep. He is also the owner of Soltilo Familia Soccer School in Phnom Penh and Soltilo Angkor FC, a club playing in the Cambodian League 2.
Honda has been the GM of the Cambodian team since 2018.
Honda, whose playing career spans more than 10 countries on five continents (North America, Asia, South America, Oceania and Europe), is currently without a team after finishing a stint with FK Suduva in the Lithuanian A Lyga in December 2021.
Honda started his professional career in 2005 with the Nagoya Grampus Eight FC in the Japanese J1 League, before heading to Europe in 2008.
In January 2008, he joined VVV-Venlo in the Dutch Eredivisie. A year later, he signed a four-year contract with CSKA Moscow in the Russian Premier League.
In 2013, he returned to Europe for a stint with AC Milan in the Italian Serie A that lasted until 2017.
From 2017 to 2019, Honda played for Pachuca in the Mexican Liga MX, Melbourne Victory in the Australian A-League and Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands.
Honda played professionally for the first time in South America in 2020, when he joined Botafogo FC in the Brazilian Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A.
While playing for Botafogo FC, Honda became one of the very few footballers to have scored on five continents.
A deal to play with Portimonense Sporting Clube last year fell through, after it failed to meet the requirements of Liga Portugal.
Honda later joined Neftchi Baku, where he helped the team win the title in the Azerbaijan Premier League last year.
In April 2021, it was reported that Selangor FC, one of the top teams in the Malaysian Super League (MSL), tried to recruit Honda.
One of the most well-known footballers from Japan, the Osaka native played for his country in three FIFA World Cups (2010, 2014 and 2018). He has accumulated more than 90 international caps from 2008 to 2018, according to international media reports.
Honda retired from international football in 2018, after becoming the highest-scoring Asian player in World Cup history.