Japanese midfielder Keisuke Honda joined AC Milan for the next three years and pledged to bring his own brand of Samurai fighting spirit to the team.
At the moment, AC Milan is placed on the 11th position in the Serie A, 27 points off the pace of leaders Juventus and 17 behind the first Champions League qualifying spot, according to the international press.
Honda, described in the club’s official presentation as part of a “new breed of bolder Japanese players”, promised to do everything he can to improve Milan’s status.
“I have never met a Samurai… but Japanese men are known for never giving up,” Honda said. “We have a strong mentality and good discipline, so I hope I can show that kind of spirit on the pitch.
“I have to train hard, from today. I feel a lot is expected of me here so I know I have to show what I can do. I will do my best, and I will give some special things to the team,” Honda added.
He will wear the number 10 shirt worn in the past by stars like Ruud Gullit, Dejan Savicevic, Zvonimir Boban, Rui Costa and Clarence Seedorf.
“Former Ballon d’Or winners at Milan, like Gianni Rivera and Ruud Gullit, have worn the shirt and it has also been on the shoulders of great players like Savicevic, Boban, Rui Costa and Seedorf.
“Keisuke is the first Japanese player to wear the Rossonero (red and black) shirt of our club and we want to give him a warm welcome here,” said Club CEO Adriano Galliani.
The 27-year-old sportsman has been capped 52 times for Japan and scored 20 goals, two of which came at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He plays as a central attacking midfielder, but he can play as well as a second striker or a deep-lying playmaker. His free-kicks are famous, as well as his dribbling and ability as a dead ball specialist.