Japanese Honda likes Australian drive


Keisuke Honda is setting himself up for life after football, but adapting to his latest professional environment is still the priority for the Japanese star.

Despite having enough left in the tank to score for Japan at this year's World Cup in Russia, the 32-year-old has an eye to a time where there are different goals to achieve.

In August, he teamed up with Hollywood megastar Will Smith to start a venture capital fund in California that he says already has 140 employees.

That same month he also became the general manager of the Cambodian national side.

But since arriving in Melbourne as the A-League's biggest marquee since Alessandro Del Piero, he has focused on assimilating to life at the Victory.

And he's realised where Australia's reputation as developing some of the most physical and aggressive players in the world game stems from.

"Where I live, there is no rugby and Aussie football. That's a good thing because when I watch TV, they're fighting very aggressively," Honda said.

"I get the spirit, strong spirit from them. Usually soccer is not like that, they fall down.

"I know some great players in the world are crying on the field. I don't think Australian people like it and that's good things because I like the strong spirit."

The former AC Milan star isn't fazed out by the fact he is the only Asian player in a country that has spent the past 12 years as part of the Asian confederation.

Not since Shinji Ono with the Western Sydney Wanderers has a Japanese player captured the imagination of the Australian sporting public.

"I also get used to this environment (where) I'm just one Japanese player in the league," said Honda, who faces rivals Melbourne City in round one on Saturday.

One of the stranger developments since his arrival takes place at training sessions at Gosch's Paddock, a public space where the Demons and Melbourne Storm also practice.

"What's weird is old people can watch our training every day," Honda said.

"Can you imagine when we do tactics training, everyone takes video or something like that? Where is the secret?

"In Italy all the managers I worked with, they really hated someone watching training on tactics day.

"Even when our team staff watch our training sometimes the manager says go away.

"So everyone is welcome here, I like this kind of experience."

Source AAP