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Keisuke Honda
Keisuke Honda 2018 (cropped) (cropped).jpg
Honda with Japan at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name Keisuke Honda
Date of birth (1986-06-13) 13 June 1986 (age 37)
Place of birth Settsu, Osaka, Japan
Height 1.82 m
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1994–1998 Settsu FC
1999–2001 Gamba Osaka
2002–2004 Seiryo High School
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2007 Nagoya Grampus Eight 90 (11)
2008–2009 VVV-Venlo 68 (24)
2010–2013 CSKA Moscow 94 (20)
2014–2017 AC Milan 81 (11)
2017–2018 Pachuca 29 (10)
2018–2019 Melbourne Victory 18 (7)
2019 Vitesse 4 (0)
2020 Botafogo 22 (3)
2021 Portimonense 0 (0)
2021 Neftçi Baku 7 (2)
2021 Sūduva Marijampole 6 (1)
National team
2005 Japan U20 1 (0)
2006–2008 Japan U23 18 (5)
2008–2018 Japan 98 (37)
Teams managed
2018–2023 Cambodia
2023 Cambodia U-23
Representing  Japan
AFC Asian Cup
Winner 2011 Qatar
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 November 2021.
† Appearances (Goals).

Keisuke Honda (本田 圭佑, Honda Keisuke, born 13 June 1986) is a Japanese professional football manager and former player.

A versatile player, Honda usually played as an attacking midfielder, but could also play as a winger, a false nine or as a deep-lying playmaker, and frequently featured as a right winger for Milan during the 2014–15 season. A quick and creative player, he was also known for his accuracy from bending free-kicks, powerful striking ability from distance, dribbling skills and delivery as a set-piece specialist.

Honda earned over 90 international caps between 2008 and 2018, playing at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cups. He was also part of the squad which won the 2011 Asian Cup, where he was also voted Player of the Tournament.

Club career

Early career

Born and raised in Settsu, Honda had belonged to the local junior youth team at Gamba Osaka, but was not promoted to the youth team. When Honda was a Seiryo High School student, he made an appearance at J.League Cup as Special Designated Youth Player in 2004. After graduating high school, he began his professional career in 2005, with J1 League side Nagoya Grampus Eight.


Honda playing for VVV-Venlo in 2008

On 16 January 2008, Honda signed a two and half-year deal with Eredivisie side VVV-Venlo. In his first six months at VVV, he experienced relegation for the first time in his professional career as his new side went down to Eerste Divisie, the second division. In the 2008–09 season, he scored 16 goals in 36 league appearances to help the team back into the Eredivisie. He became known as Keizer Keisuke (meaning Emperor Keisuke) among the club's fans. Also, Honda introduced his agent, Tetsuro Kiyooka, to Maya Yoshida in 2008 and led him to VVV-Venlo two years later.

CSKA Moscow

Keisuke Honda CSKA
Honda with CSKA in 2010

At the end of December 2009, Honda transferred to Russian club CSKA Moscow. Honda signed a 4-year contract. The transfer fee was undisclosed, but VVV-Venlo was said to be very content with the fee as it almost matched their asking price; it is believed to be in the region of €6 million. Honda made his debut for CSKA in the UEFA Champions League match against Sevilla. In the second leg in Seville, he scored the winning goal through a direct free kick for CSKA after having set up the first goal for Tomáš Necid. This secured a 2–1 (3–2 aggregate) victory to send the club to the quarterfinals, making Honda the first Japanese player to be in the quarter-finals as well as the first to score in the knock-out stages. Honda scored his first league goal on 12 March 2010, in the home match against Amkar Perm. He scored the goal in the third minute of injury time, slotting home a pass from Necid with his left. With the goal, he secured the win for CSKA Moscow.

Honda picked up his first piece of silverware with CSKA on 22 May 2011, coming on as a second-half substitute for Alan Dzagoev in a 2–1 defeat of Alania Vladikavkaz in the Russian Cup final. He netted two goals in the first half of CSKA's match against Krylia Sovetov three days later, a match that ended in a 3–0 victory for his side. On 16 September 2012, Honda scored twice off passes from Ahmed Musa, scoring the only goals in a league victory over Alania.

On 13 July 2013, Honda scored CSKA's first and third goals in the club's 3–0 victory over Zenit in the Russian Super Cup match in Rostov. In 2013 summer transfer window, he entered the final six months of his contract with CSKA and became free to talk to other clubs, expressing his interest in moving to a bigger club. On 11 December 2013, CSKA announced the conclusion of Honda's time at the club.


HondaMilan (cropped) - 2
Honda playing for Milan in 2015

On 27 October 2013, Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri announced a deal for Honda to join Milan on a free transfer in January 2014. Honda officially joined the team on 4 January 2014 on a contract lasting until June 2017 and wore the number 10 jersey.

On 12 January 2014, Honda made his debut coming on as a substitute for Robinho in a 4–3 Serie A defeat to Sassuolo. On 15 January, Honda made his full debut for Milan, scoring in the 3–1 Coppa Italia quarter-final win against Spezia. He scored his first Serie A goal in Genoa-Milan, which was won by the Rossoneri 1–2. Honda's contribution for Milan in the latter half of the 2013–14 season was considered disappointing, and he himself stated that "this is not me".

On 31 August 2014, Honda scored for Milan against Lazio, netting the club's first goal of the season as the Rossoneri won 3–1 in Filippo Inzaghi's Serie A debut as manager. Honda went on to score Milan's second goal against Parma on 14 September, helping Milan to win a nine-goal thriller, 5–4. Honda provided an assist for Giacomo Bonaventura's opening goal and scored a bullet header to restore Milan's lead, from Ignazio Abate's cross. In Milan's next match against Empoli, Honda drilled in a shot on the edge of the box equalizing for Milan as the sides drew 2–2. Honda scored with a precise free kick over the Chievo wall in a 2–0 win on 4 October. Honda scored his first brace playing for Milan in a 3–1 away win against Verona on 19 October. On 21 May 2017, Honda scored against Bologna winning the game and thus qualifying Milan to the Europa League for the first time since the 2013–14 season from a free kick.


On 14 July 2017, Mexican club Pachuca announced the signing of Honda. On 23 August 2017, Honda scored on his debut in a 4–1 win over Veracruz.

Melbourne Victory

On 6 August 2018, Honda signed for Australian A-League side Melbourne Victory. He scored on his A-League debut, in Victory's opening game of the 2018–19 A-League, a 2–1 loss to Melbourne City in the Melbourne Derby. On 3 May 2019, Honda announced that he would leave the club at the end of the 2018–19 A-League season, also stating that he would not sign with an A-League team following his departure.


In the succeeding September, Honda publicly offered, on Twitter, to play for Manchester United and A.C. Milan. On 6 November 2019, he signed a contract for one season at Eredivisie club Vitesse Arnhem. However, after Leonid Slutsky's departure, Honda decided to also leave Vitesse after only four league appearances.


On 31 January 2020, Honda signed with Campeonato Brasileiro Série A side Botafogo. On 15 March, he made his debut and scored his first goal, opening the score from a penalty kick in a 1–1 draw against Bangu in the Campeonato Carioca. He left the club on 28 December, three months shy of the end of his contract, stating his frustration with the lack of results and the decisions by the club's board, which had changed head coaches four times during the season, while also thanking and apologising to the fans. He made 27 appearances across all competitions and scored three goals.


On 4 February 2021, Honda announced that he had reached an agreement with Primeira Liga club Portimonense. The signing was officially confirmed two days later, with Honda joining the Portuguese side on a six-month deal with the option for a one-year extension. The deal, however, broke down after Portmonense was unable to register him in the league, as a LPFP ruling required free agent players to be at least three months in that status in order to be registered outside of the transfer window period; Honda had spent less than two months out of contract. He parted ways with the club amicably on 11 February.


On 15 March 2021, Honda joined Azerbaijan Premier League club Neftçi PFK on a deal until the end of the season. At the end of the season, Keisuke Honda won Azerbaijan Premier League title with Neftçi.

On 16 June 2021, Neftçi confirmed that Honda had left the club after the expiration of his contract, during which he scored twice in seven games for the club.


On 14 September 2021, Honda joined FK Sūduva on a deal until 31 December 2021.

International career

Senior career

Honda was a member of the Japan team for 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship and played for the U-23 national team, that qualified for 2008 Summer Olympics finals. He made a full international debut for Japan on 22 June 2008 in a World Cup qualifier against Bahrain. On 14 July 2008, he was formally named as one of the midfielders of the Japanese U-23 national football team for the Beijing Olympics football competition. He scored his first goal for the senior national team on 27 May 2009 in a friendly match against Chile at Nagai Stadium in Osaka and has since been given the nickname "Emperor Keisuke". He has scored 37 goals in 98 games for the Japan national team from his debut in 2008, onwards.

2010 FIFA World Cup

Honda playing for Japan during the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Honda rose to prominence in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and became the country's newest prospect. He scored the only goal in Japan's opening match against Cameroon, finishing off Daisuke Matsui's cross into the top left corner of the net. His performance in the game gained him the Man of the Match Award from FIFA and the 1–0 victory was Japan's first World Cup triumph on foreign soil. In the final group-stage game against Denmark, he scored a magnificent free kick in the 17th minute from 30 yards out. He then turned provider for Shinji Okazaki after making his way into the penalty area, with a Cruyff Turn that beat a Denmark player, in the 88th minute to make the score 3–1 to Japan, a performance that earned him the "Man of the Match" award once more and qualified Japan for the knockout stage. In their round of 16 matchup, Japan were eliminated by Paraguay, falling 3–5 in penalty kicks after the game finished goalless through extra time.

Jonathan Wilson of The Guardian cited him as a 'false nine': a player superficially employed as a centre forward but moving deeper to pull the opposition defence around the pitch.

2011 AFC Asian Cup

Honda was included in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup by coach Alberto Zaccheroni. In the game against Syria, he scored a penalty kick making the score 2–1 for Japan. In the semi-finals against South Korea, he took a penalty kick, but was blocked by Jung Sung-Ryong. However, in the penalty shoot out of the game, he scored and was named "Man of the Match". Honda was awarded the most valuable player of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup as Japan lifted a record fourth continental title.

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification

Honda missed the majority of the third round of AFC World Cup qualification due to injury he picked up while playing for his club.

During the fourth round of qualifying, on 3 June 2012, in Japan's first game in Group B against Oman, Honda scored a beautiful volley just eleven minutes into the game. The game ended in 3–0 a win for Japan. He continued his scoring streak against Jordan on 8 June 2012, managing to net a hat-trick; Japan went on to win 6–0. He also played a crucial role during their 1–1 draw with Australia on 12 June 2012, during a corner kick, he assisted a goal which was scored by Yuzo Kurihara.

He missed a couple of friendly games and one qualification game due to injury from club duty and was subsequently not included in the squad that was shocked 2-1 by Jordan on 26 March 2013. Although not 100 percent fit, Honda was named in the squad for the game against Australia on 4 June 2013, having just won the Russian Cup with his club. All Japan needed from this match was a draw to secure their place for Brazil. He managed to score a goal via penalty kick during extra time from a handball from Matt McKay, making the score 1–1. The result secured Japan's qualification for the World Cup in Brazil and became the first nation to book their place at the tournament.

Having won the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, Japan qualified for the Confederations Cup in Brazil in 2013 and Honda was once again included in Zaccheroni's squad for the tournament. After losing 3–0 to hosts Brazil in the first group match on 15 June 2013, Japan faced Italy in the next game; Honda scored from the penalty spot to put Japan ahead but they fell 4–3 in a pulsating game which dumped the Asian champions out of the competition.

2014 FIFA World Cup

Japan was drawn into Group C in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil having to face Colombia, Greece, and Ivory Coast. In Japan's opening game against Ivory Coast, Honda collected a pass from Yuto Nagatomo after a quick throw-in and scored with a left footed shot in the 16th minute of the game. With this goal Honda became the first Japanese player to score in two World Cups, and also claimed sole possession of being the top Japanese scorer in FIFA World Cup history with three total goals. Japan went on to lose 2–1 to the African team.

2015 AFC Asian Cup

Honda was included in Javier Aguirre's 23-man squad for 2015 AFC Asian Cup. Honda started Japan's opener match against Palestine and scored a penalty kick in their 4–0 win. In next match against Iraq, Honda again netted a penalty which Japan won the match 1–0 and the first goal in 2–0 win of Jordan.

Honda participated in Japan's quarter final match against the United Arab Emirates. After the match ended 1–1 after extra time Honda, who was Japan's first kicker in the penalty shootout, missed his kick, shooting above the crossbar, as Japan ended up losing the shootout 5–4.

2018 FIFA World Cup

On 24 June 2018, Honda scored a goal against Senegal in the second match of the group stages of Group H. With this goal he became the top scoring Asian player in World Cup history and the only player to register a goal and an assist in each of the last three tournaments. After Japan's exit in the Round of 16, Honda announced his plan to retire from the international stage.

Managerial career


Honda managing Cambodia 2019
Honda managing Cambodia against Iran, 10 October 2019

In August 2018, whilst still a player, Honda was named general manager of Cambodia. Under this arrangement, Honda will hold weekly conference with Cambodia coaching staff, and will be on the touchline when Cambodia's match is in FIFA International match Calendar, with his assistant Felix Dalmas stepping in whenever Honda is unavailable. On 10 September 2018, Honda lost his opening game as manager of Cambodia 3–1 against Malaysia.

As of October 2021, Cambodia is last in its 2022 World Cup Qualifying Group and has suffered two extraordinary defeats to Iran, first 14–0 in late 2019 and then 10–0 in June 2021.

In January 2023, Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) announced the 2022 AFF Championship tournament would be Honda last time with the national team. Despite not advanced to the semi-finals, Honda helped the team gain their best achievement in the AFF tournament with 2 wins, one of them against the Philippines. Honda would still continue his final duties as general manager for the Cambodia U-23 for the upcoming 2023 SEA Games.

Personal life

Coming from a sporting family, Keisuke Honda's older brother was also a footballer. Honda's great-uncle Daisaburo was a canoeist who represented Japan in C-2 1000 metres event at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Keisuke Honda's cousin is Tamon Honda, a professional wrestler and former Olympic wrestler, who participated in three Olympic Games in freestyle wrestling in 100 kg at the 1984, 1988 Games, and in 130 kg at the 1992 showpiece, and is also a former tag team champion, winning the All Asia Tag Team Championship and GHC Tag Team Championship.

He married Misako, his high school sweetheart. Honda has three children.

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Nagoya Grampus 2004 J1 League 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
2005 J1 League 31 2 2 0 2 0 35 2
2006 J1 League 29 6 1 0 4 2 34 8
2007 J1 League 30 3 2 0 3 0 35 3
Total 90 11 5 0 10 2 105 13
VVV-Venlo 2007–08 Eredivisie 14 2 3 0 17 2
2008–09 Eerste Divisie 36 16 1 0 37 16
2009–10 Eredivisie 18 6 2 2 20 8
Total 68 24 3 2 3 0 74 26
CSKA Moscow 2010 RPL 28 4 5 0 12 1 1 0 46 5
2011–12 RPL 25 8 1 0 1 0 1 0 28 8
2012–13 RPL 23 7 3 1 2 1 28 9
2013–14 RPL 18 1 0 0 6 2 1 2 25 5
Total 94 20 9 1 21 4 3 2 127 27
Milan 2013–14 Serie A 14 1 2 1 16 2
2014–15 Serie A 29 6 1 0 30 6
2015–16 Serie A 30 1 7 1 37 2
2016–17 Serie A 8 1 1 0 9 1
Total 81 9 11 2 92 11
Pachuca 2017–18 Liga MX 29 10 5 3 2 0 36 13
Melbourne Victory 2018–19 A-League 18 7 0 0 4 1 22 8
Vitesse 2019–20 Eredivisie 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Botafogo 2020 Série A 18 2 5 0 4 1 27 3
Neftçi 2020–21 APL 7 2 0 0 0 0 7 2
Sūduva 2021 A Lyga 6 1 0 0 0 0 6 1
Career total 415 86 38 8 25 5 22 5 500 105


Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Japan 2008 1 0
2009 10 3
2010 12 3
2011 8 2
2012 9 4
2013 12 8
2014 13 4
2015 14 10
2016 7 2
2017 5 0
2018 7 1
Total 98 37
Scores and results list Japan's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Honda goal.
List of international goals scored by Keisuke Honda
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 27 May 2009 Nagai Stadium, Osaka, Japan  Chile 4–0 4–0 Friendly
2 10 October 2009 Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, Japan  Scotland 2–0 2–0 Friendly
3 14 October 2009 Miyagi Stadium, Rifu, Japan  Togo 5–0 5–0 Friendly
4 3 March 2010 Toyota Stadium, Toyota, Japan  Bahrain 2–0 2–0 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification
5 14 June 2010 Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa  Cameroon 1–0 1–0 2010 FIFA World Cup
6 24 June 2010 Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa  Denmark 1–0 3–1 2010 FIFA World Cup
7 13 January 2011 Qatar SC Stadium, Doha, Qatar  Syria 2–1 2–1 2011 AFC Asian Cup
8 10 August 2011 Sapporo Dome, Sapporo, Japan  South Korea 2–0 3–0 Friendly
9 3 June 2012 Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan  Oman 1–0 3–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
10 8 June 2012 Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan  Jordan 2–0 6–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
11 3–0
12 5–0
13 6 February 2013 Home's Stadium Kobe, Kobe, Japan  Latvia 2–0 3–0 Friendly
14 4 June 2013 Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan  Australia 1–1 1–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
15 19 June 2013 Arena Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil  Italy 1–0 3–4 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup
16 14 August 2013 Miyagi Stadium, Rifu, Japan  Uruguay 2–4 2–4 Friendly
17 6 September 2013 Nagai Stadium, Osaka, Japan  Guatemala 1–0 3–0 Friendly
18 10 September 2013 International Stadium Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan  Ghana 3–1 3–1 Friendly
19 16 November 2013 Cristal Arena, Genk, Belgium  Netherlands 2–2 2–2 Friendly
20 19 November 2013 King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium  Belgium 2–1 3–2 Friendly
21 7 June 2014 Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, United States  Zambia 1–2 4–3 Friendly
22 3–2
23 14 June 2014 Arena Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil  Ivory Coast 1–0 1–2 2014 FIFA World Cup
24 14 November 2014 Toyota Stadium, Toyota, Japan  Honduras 2–0 6–0 Friendly
25 12 January 2015 Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, Australia  [[Palestinian National Authority {{{altlink}}}|Palestinian National Authority]] 3–0 4–0 2015 AFC Asian Cup
26 16 January 2015 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia  Iraq 1–0 1–0 2015 AFC Asian Cup
27 20 January 2015 Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne, Australia  Jordan 1–0 2–0 2015 AFC Asian Cup
28 27 March 2015 Ōita Bank Dome, Ōita, Japan  Tunisia 2–0 2–0 Friendly
29 11 June 2015 Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, Japan  Iraq 1–0 4–0 Friendly
30 3 September 2015 Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan  Cambodia 1–0 3–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
31 8 September 2015 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran  Afghanistan 6–0 6–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
32 8 October 2015 Seeb Stadium, Seeb, Oman  Syria 1–0 3–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
33 12 November 2015 National Stadium, Singapore  Singapore 2–0 3–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
34 17 November 2015 Olympic Stadium, Phnom Penh, Cambodia  Cambodia 2–0 2–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
35 29 March 2016 Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan  Syria 3–0 5–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
36 1 September 2016 Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan  United Arab Emirates 1–0 1–2 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
37 24 June 2018 Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg, Russia  Senegal 2–2 2–2 2018 FIFA World Cup


Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref.
P W D L Win %
Cambodia 12 August 2018 4 January 2023 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 !
Cambodia U22 17 March 2022 10 May 2023 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&02.&&&&&02 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&02.&&&&&02 &0&&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00.0
Total &&&&&&&&&&&&&&02.&&&&&02 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&02.&&&&&02 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&00.&&&&&00.0



CSKA Moscow


Neftçi PFK

  • Azerbaijan Premier League: 2020–21



See also

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