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Japan veteran Yuto Nagatomo rejoins FC Tokyo


Tokyo: Japan’s AFC Asian Cup-winning defender Yuto Nagatomo has re-signed for J.League side FC Tokyo as the 35-year-old brings more than a decade in European football to an end.

Nagatomo, who was part of Japan’s successful 2011 AFC Asian Cup side and who featured in his nation’s run to the final in 2019, had been without a club since his one-year deal with Olympic Marseille expired at the end of last season.

His return to FC Tokyo reunites him with the club where he made his professional debut in 2007 and where he won the J.League Cup in 2009.

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Nagatomo went on to build a successful career in Europe after leaving FC Tokyo to join Italian club Cesena on loan midway through 2010 before signing for Inter Milan in January 2011 after an impressive showing for Japan at the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar.

He played 170 times for Inter in Serie A and won the Coppa Italia with the club inside his first six months in Milan. He then moved to Galatasaray in Turkey in 2018, where he won back-to-back league titles in 2018 and 2019.

Nagatomo spent the 2020-21 season with Olympic Marseille but was released at the end of the campaign.

The left-back continues to feature for Japan, earning his 127th cap for the Samurai Blue in their recent 1-0 win over China PR in Doha in the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar.

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