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 By John Duerden

Keisuke Honda moving to Mexico will help Japan's World Cup hopes

As Keisuke Honda's dream move at AC Milan came to an end, questions arise whether or not Pachuca is a good fit.
ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts recap the big wins for Japan, South Korea and Iran in AFC World Cup qualifying.

Keisuke Honda's move to Mexico from AC Milan may take him even further away from Japan, but it could mean that one of Asia's most creative stars returns right to the heart of the national team, with vital 2018 World Cup qualifiers approaching.

The man they call the Emperor has joined one of Mexico's leading clubs in Pachuca. With his contract at Milan ending this summer, there had long been links with moves to Major League Soccer, China, and England -- as well as back home to the J.League.


ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Tokyo Verdy give up on Francesco Totti with striker expected to take Roma role

Francesco Totti v Genoa
Francesco Totti is expected to take up a role as director at Roma.

Tokyo Verdy president Hideaki Hanyu has said they will not sign Roma legend Francesco Totti because his family had reservations about the move.

Totti, 40, is available after spending a quarter of a century at Roma and the Japanese second-division side had targeted the former Italy international

However, Hanyu told Nikkan Sports in quotes translated by AFP: "Ultimately he was unable to get his family's blessing.

"I really wanted to see Totti pull on a Verdy uniform. I was ready to fly to Italy...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Francesco Totti will 'choose between Roma or Japan' - Tokyo Verdy boss

Gab Marcotti shares his favourite memory of Francesco Totti and looks back on the Roma legend's career with the club.

Francesco Totti will choose between Tokyo Verdy or a return to Roma, ruling out a move to Major League Soccer, according to the Japanese club's president.

Hideyuki Hanyu, from the J2 club, says the former Italy international is likely to make his "serious" decision in the next few days.

"I'm currently hearing from the agent that there are only two options now for Totti, either to stay at Roma or play at Verdy. No options in America now," Hanyu told reporters after Tokyo Verdy drew 1-1 with Fagiano...