Ex-Leicester forward, premier league winner Okazaki announces retirement

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The forward who clinched the Premier League title with Leicester, Shinji Okazaki, has declared his intention to retire from football at the conclusion of the season.

At the age of 37, Okazaki became a member of the Foxes in the summer of 2015, scoring five goals in his inaugural season to contribute to the club’s remarkable league victory under the guidance of Italian manager Claudio Ranieri. He currently competes in Belgium with Sint-Truiden.

“I have given my all as a footballer up to now,” Okazaki posted on Instagram.

“When I realised that my body was falling apart I naturally felt I had reached my limits.”

Injuries have severely limited Okazaki’s participation to just five appearances for Sint-Truidense in the Jupiler Pro League this season, and he has been sidelined since 16 December.

Okazaki holds the third position on Japan’s all-time scoring chart, having scored 50 goals in 119 appearances. He was a member of the Japan squad that clinched the Asian Cup in 2011 and has represented his country in three World Cup tournaments.

He commenced his professional journey in his native country with Shimizu S-Pulse before making the transition to Europe by signing with Bundesliga club Stuttgart in 2011.

Following a two-year stint with German outfit Mainz from 2013 to 2015, Okazaki answered Leicester’s call and contributed to their title-winning campaign with 36 appearances.

Upon the expiration of his contract at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, Okazaki departed Leicester and joined Spanish side Malaga on a free transfer. However, his contract was terminated after just 34 days, prior to his debut match, due to the club’s financial inability to meet his salary demands.