TOKYO Aug 11 Japan's Homare Sawa, the reigning
women's world player of the year, is set to retire from
international soccer after finishing with a silver medal at the
The 33-year-old, who spearheaded Japan's stunning triumph at
last year's World Cup in Germany, will continue her career at
club level, local media reported.
"I've achieved what I can and have no regrets," Sawa told
Japan's Nikkan Sports daily following Thursday's 2-1 defeat by
the United States in the gold medal match in London.
"I always wanted an Olympic gold medal but I've given
everything. This is the end," added Sawa, who played in five
World Cups and scored 81 goals in 186 appearances for Japan.
"To be honest it's become hard to be 100 percent for Japan
training, physically and schedule-wise. We finished with a medal
so it's a good time to call it a day."
Sawa's goals were instrumental in Japan's astonishing run
during last year's World Cup when they toppled the Americans in
a penalty shootout in the final in Frankfurt.
Japan's "Nadeshiko" team, named after a frilly pink
carnation, embodied the steely determination of a country coming
to terms with the deadly tsunami and a raging nuclear crisis.
(Reporting by Alastair Himmer; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)