Former Japan and AC Milan midfielder Keisuke Honda has tendered a heartfelt apology to the fans of the Brazilian club as a result of his failure to live up to the hype before sealing his move to the club last February.
Honda was given a hero’s welcome as he arrived in Brazil to complete the transfer with fans of Botafogo Football Club storming outside the club’s facility to witness the unveiling of their star recruit. However, things did not go quite according to plan as several factors surfaced and daunted his progress in the Brazilian Serie A.
The 34-year-old feature 27 times for Botafogo since making his debut and scored just three goals. Since his loss of form became too evident, he then began attracting links with above to Europe.
Honda tendered his apologies to the fans after the reports started becoming more concrete that he was leaving. He said he understood the whole situation and that the criticism was normal because fans had already placed some expectations on him before his arrival. He said he was also disappointed and did not expect things to turn out the way they did in what was a failed spell for a player of his caliber.
Honda was attracting interest from Portimonense and was reported to be joining the Portuguese outfit this month. The midfielder, who was an established midfield powerhouse during his spells with Russian outfit CSKA Moscow, Italian Serie A side AC Milan, and of course, the Japan national team is said to be past his best years but will be looking forward to rediscovering his best form as his move to Portimonense bears completion.
For the Japanese national team, Honda made 98 appearances and scored 37 goals while also featuring at four World Cup tournaments for the Asian country. His statistics cements his name as one of the most successful Japanese footballers of all time.