Japanese icon Nakayama retires

Published December 04, 2012

| Sports Network

Japan forward Masashi Nakayama, who scored the first-ever goal for his country in the World Cup, retired Tuesday.

The 45-year-old Nakayama ended his international career in 2003, but played on the club level through 2012. He ended his career Saturday with Consadole, and retires with a record 157 J. League goals.

Nakayama scored 21 goals in 53 matches for Japan from 1990-2003, most notably the lone goal for the nation in its first World Cup appearance in 1998. He was also part of the 2002 World Cup team.

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