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Soccer: Keisuke Honda signs for Melbourne Victory in Aussie A-League

In this June 17, 2018, file photo, Japan's Keisuke Honda warms up during a training session of the Japan national soccer team at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Kazan, Russia. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Japan star Keisuke Honda has signed for Melbourne Victory as a marquee player for the club in the 2018-19 Australian A-League season.

The Victory confirmed the signing Monday, making the 32-year-old Japanese international the club's biggest signing in its 13-year history.

Honda told Fox Sports he was excited about the challenge of moving to Australia.

"I'm ready. I can't wait," Honda said. "I have confidence. I will help the team as much as I can. I'm an ambitious person and I always work my best.

"Let's make it happen."

Honda is set to arrive in Melbourne next week after commencing negotiations following Japan's exit at the World Cup in Russia last month. The veteran attacker has scored 37 goals for Japan, won the Asian title in 2011 and scored in three World Cup campaigns.

Victory coach Kevin Muscat said Honda, who moved from AC Milan to Mexican club Pachuca last year, was a proven performer at the highest level and "we can't wait to see what he can do in Melbourne."

"He brings world-class ability and offers great flexibility in the front third of the pitch," Muscat said. "It's obviously an added benefit to have him a part of our AFC Asian Champions League campaign too."

Victory, which placed fourth in the regular season but rallied to win the grand final and claim its fourth championship, will kick off its domestic season on Oct. 20 against Melbourne City.

The deal with Honda involved support from Victory, Football Federation Australia and broadcaster Fox Sports. Details of the one-season contract were not released.

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