Honda hopes to make mark in Mexico with Pachuca

Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda said he hopes to be a useful addition at his new club Pachuca, in the Mexican League, after he was unveiled as a member of the squad on Tuesday.

“I am happy to be a member of the team and hope I can help as much as possible,” Honda told a press conference in Spanish.

“I only just started learning Spanish yesterday so please speak slowly,” he joked.

Honda was among six new players unveiled by Pachuca at an event attended by around 2,000 fans and more than 100 members of the media.

Honda joins Pachuca on a one-year contract after leaving AC Milan. He will be the first Japanese to play in Mexico’s first division.

He was out of contract at the Serie A powerhouse, where his performance failed to match the hype that came with his January 2014 transfer from CSKA Moscow.

Honda was being tracked by a number of Major League Soccer teams and the 31-year-old also said he had offers to stay in Europe.

“I wanted to move to a club that really wanted me,” said Honda. “I had the option of remaining in Europe but I didn’t want to become complacent.”

“I thought if I moved here then it would provide me with motivation and a fresh challenge.”

Founded in 1901 — making it one of the oldest clubs in the Americas — Pachuca has won the Mexican title six times.

Located in the south-central part of the Mexican state of Hidalgo, Pachuca won the 2016-2017 CONCACAF Champions League and will take part in the Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in December.

Pachuca’s Mexican League season gets under way on Sunday with an away match against Pumas UNAM.

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