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Nakamura's decision to join Yokohama based on World Cup

Shunsuke Nakamura's decision to return to his homeland to join Yokohama F. Marinos is solely based on the upcoming World Cup he has revealed.

The 31-year old has spent the best part of the last decade in Europe but has now come back to the club where his professional career began and he says it is so he can gain regular playing before June.

Nakamura joined Italian club Reggina in 2002 before moving on to Scottish giants Celtic where he enjoyed about four years of success. He then found himself in Spain with Espanyol but his time there was cut short when he and the Barcelona-based club decided to mutually terminate his contract, allowing him to return to Japan.

Now he is back, he is planning on getting himself in perfect shape and touch for the world's biggest sporting event in South Africa in a few months time.

"The World Cup is getting close, and I wanted to be somewhere where I could play. I want to bring a good game to the World Cup," Nakamura told the Daily Yomiuri.

"I have some bitter thoughts remaining, but if you don't move forward, it means nothing.

"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."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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