Veteran Japanese defender Yuto Nagatomo has rejoined his first professional club FC Tokyo, the J-League first-division club said Sunday.

Nagatomo's move was announced on his 35th birthday and comes after he spent 11 years in Europe, the fullback playing seven years at Italian giants Inter Milan after joining the then-European champions in early 2011.

Yuto Nagatomo. (Getty/Kyodo)

"I'm really glad to return to this place I love after 11 years," Nagatomo said in a statement through FC Tokyo.

"I've battled in Italy, Turkey and France during that time for my respective clubs and also for my own development. I hope to bring all the experience I earned there back to Tokyo."

Nagatomo joined FC Tokyo in 2008 while still at Meiji University and signed for Italian side Cesena after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He spent half a season at the club before his move to Inter.

He spent two-and-half years at Turkish giants Galatasaray from the start of 2018 before moving to Marseille in France, where he played a season alongside compatriot Hiroki Sakai who also returned to Japan this summer to play for Urawa Reds.

Nagatomo has the second-most caps for the Japan national team at 127, the latest of which came in a 1-0 World Cup qualifier win over China on Tuesday. He trails only Yasuhito Endo who played 152 times for Japan.

Nagatomo has played in the last three World Cups.

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