By Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

TOKYO (AP) - Former women’s world player of the year Homare Sawa announced her retirement from football on Wednesday.

The 37-year-old Sawa is the former captain of Japan, and the 2011 Women’s World Cup top-scorer and MVP.

She scored an extra-time equalizer when Japan beat the United States on penalties to win that Women’s World Cup final.

For Japan, she has a record 205 caps and 83 goals.

Sawa played in the U.S. Women’s Premier Soccer League from 1999-2010, and returned to Japan’s domestic league in 2011.



She played in her sixth Women’s World Cup this year in Canada, and helped Japan win a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

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