Keisuke Honda is only 29 years old, but the AC Milan midfielder is already starting to think about his future after he retires. Honda’s company, Honda Estilo, has bought 49 percent of SV Horn in the Austrian third division.
The Japanese international will be on the board together with his cousin. The club is located in northern Austria and plays in the third division. With no limit on foreign players, the club was ideal for Honda as he wants to bring in several Japanese players and take the team all the way to the Austrian top division and the Champions League.
“Eventually, we very well might have 50 percent Japanese players here.” Honda told local newspaper Non.
“Do not get me wrong – our priority is the young players who live here,” Honda said. “But we want the Japanese kids who are active in our 50 football schools, allow a dream – a dream that they can play at some point here in a top club SV Horn.”
Horn is a small town with 6,500 residents, and has a stadium that takes in 4,000 spectators. This will probably change in the future as Honda wants to grow SV Horn into a powerhouse in Austrian soccer. The club has already gotten a strong following in Japan as 20,000 Japanese viewers tuned in online for the club’s opening game this season.
Honda, who is one of Japanese soccer’s biggest stars, has spent the last two years with AC Milan in the Italian Serie A and before that he was at CSKA Moscow. He has 73 caps for the Japanese national team.