Veteran Japanese midfielder Junichi Inamoto is hoping that his move to French First Division side Rennes will boost his chances of playing in a third FIFA World Cup™ finals next year.
The 29-year-old - capped 71 times and scorer of four goals - was an iconic presence, aided by his dyed blond hair, when Japan co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals with South Korea which saw the Japanese go out in the second round. However, since then Inamoto - part of the Japanese squad that won the 2000 AFC Asian Cup in Lebanon - has, like many of his compatriots who have tried to make a career in European club football, earned the moniker of 'much travelled' with Rennes being his seventh club since he signed for Arsenal in 2001.
However, Inamoto is insistent that being reunited with one of his former bosses, the fiery Frederic Antonetti, who coached him at J-League club Gamba Osaka, will get him to settle at last. "Up till now I have not stayed longer than two years at any one club in Europe," said Inamoto, who scored two of his four international goals in the 2002 World Cup.