Melbourne Victory and Kevin Muscat convinced Keisuke Honda not to retire

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The Japanese star will continue to shine in the A-League next season

After exiting the World Cup with Japan, Keisuke Honda was ready to retire completely from football.

The 32-year-old would go onto announce his international retirement, but interest from Melbourne Victory and their coach Kevin Muscat ensured Honda delayed hanging up his boots completely.

"I'm so glad that I can try a new challenge in my career," Honda said at his first press conference as a Victory player on Wednesday.

"I'm 32 years old, I was thinking to quit my career after the World Cup. But luckily this club [gave] me a great offer which has changed my career."

Honda was a free agent after departing Mexican club Pachuca with Muscat playing a big role in convincing him to play on and join the A-League.

The Victory coach led the club to a fourth A-League championship last season and saw Honda as an ideal fit for his side after the departure of Leroy George. 

"I changed my mind after I spoke to Kevin," Honda said.

"He said to me he really wants to succeed as a club for the fans. 

"He's an ambitious person and I'm an ambitious person too. I'm inspired by him."

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Less than a week after officially joining Victory, Honda was announced as the General Manager of the Cambodian national team with some concerned it would be a conflict of interest.

Muscat however stressed that the club knew about Honda's plans with the focus to remain on his playing commitments.

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"His management team were completely open and honest with Keisuke's plans," Muscat said. 

"First and foremost his priority is here at Victory. In no way will any games or trainings be compromised."

Having only arrived in Australia on Tuesday, Honda isn't expected to take part in Victory's upcoming FFA Cup clash with his debut likely to be in mid-October when the A-League season begins.

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