Former women's FIFA player of the year Homare Sawa retires

TOKYO: Former women's world player of the year Homare Sawa announced her retirement from football on Wednesday.

The 37-year-old Sawa is the former captain of Japan, and the 2011 Women's World Cup top-scorer and MVP.

She scored an extra-time equalizer when Japan beat the United States on penalties to win that Women's World Cup final.

Sawa played in the US Women's Premier Soccer League from 1999-2010, and returned to Japan's domestic league in 2011.

She played in her sixth Women's World Cup this year in Canada, and helped Japan win a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics.