OKUBO WANTS JAPAN'S NATIONAL TEAM ACTION
Veteran Japanese striker, Yoshito Okubo, scored two goals in making a record 161 career goals.
The goals came in a 4-2 win over FC Tokyo by first-place Kawasaki Frontale. The goals helped the striker rewrite the J-League record books.
The 33-year-old Okubo has now scored five goals in seven games, and has caught the attention of Japan national team coach Vahid Halilhodzic. The forward even with his age and injury worries wants to return to the Japanese national team squad.
In the match against FC Tokyo, the player was stretched off the pitch in the final minutes due to a sore knee but he has returned to training on Monday.
The Japanese national team coach when asked about Okubo's performance said:
"He is a real goal-getter. It's a shame he isn't a bit younger."
The striker has not had national team action since the 2014 World Cup, but could be recalled for the Kirin Cup slated for this summer. Japan will enter the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in September, playing United Arab Emirates in a bid to qualify for its sixth straight World Cup.
Okubo has been very vocal about his wish to return to national team action for the Japs, but the Coach keeps leaving him out. The prolific striker equaled the all-time scoring record last month when he scored his 157th career goal to match Masashi Nakayama in the Japanese League.
The coach couldn't ignore the performance of the aging striker anymore when be said:
"Someone like Okubo deserves to be on the team.
"He may be approaching 34 but he continues to score. He has contributed to the national team in the past and gets the job done in the league.
"I may call up 25, 26 players. There could be opportunities for those I haven't picked before," the coach said of the player that has picked up the league highest goal scorer for three seasons.