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Japan's Honda to manage Cambodia national team

AFP  |  Phnom Penh 

Japanese star forward Keisuke signed on as of Cambodia's national team Sunday in a move that brings high-profile talent to a much-loved but struggling side.

The unusual arrangement will see Honda, who signed for A-League side Melbourne Victory earlier this month and retired from international in July after Japan's loss to Belgium, work without a salary for the length of the two-year contract.

The 32-year-old striker and former AC Milan told reporters through a that he was keen to assist Cambodian and promote the country.

"I will help develop a real playing style," he told a press conference in

He added that he would speak regularly with the players by videoconference while working around the Australian season and would spend as much time in as possible outside his existing commitments.

"The Football Federation of is happy that agrees to voluntarily support and help the Cambodian national team," federation said.

Cambodia's ranking sits at an unenviable 166 but in recent years the side has packed out stadiums during home appearances.

is not a newcomer to the country, having launched a football academy in 2016 in

A post on his account said he had returned to Cambodia to "see and understand the country's situation" and make a "big announcement".

in Cambodia lit up after the news, with fans celebrating the celebrity signing.

"OMG, thank you for your kindness, coming here and (helping) develop our national football team," one user said in response to Honda's post.

Easily recognisable with his bleached blonde hair, Honda emerged as a force in 2010 when he helped propel to the last 16 of the He netted 37 times in 98 appearances for his country.

In July, the teamed up with Hollywood star to launch a aimed at helping "people in disadvantaged environments".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, August 12 2018. 17:35 IST