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Soccer: Morita joins Sporting Lisbon from Santa Clara

Hidemasa Morita. (Getty/Kyodo)

LONDON (Kyodo) -- Japan midfielder Hidemasa Morita has joined Sporting Lisbon from Santa Clara, the two Portuguese top-division sides said Friday.

    The 27-year-old, a regular starter for Japan in their Qatar World Cup qualifying campaign, has agreed to a contract until 2026 which includes a release clause of 45 million euros ($47 million).

    "This will be the biggest challenge of my soccer career. I'm happy to have joined this club," Morita said through Sporting.

    The player from Osaka Prefecture helped Kawasaki Frontale win the J-League first division title before moving to Santa Clara in January last year.

    Sporting have 19 Portuguese top-flight titles and will play in next season's Champions League after finishing second in the domestic league last season.

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