Keisuke Honda paved new roads earlier in his career, first starring for CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League before making a big move to AC Milan.
But now he’s heading in a direction many from Europe travel to, though his destination was a surprise.
Honda announced early Friday morning that he had signed with reigning Liga MX champions Pachuca, becoming the latest high-profile European player to join Liga MX after Frenchman Andre-Pierre Gignac joined Tigres UANL.
The 31-year-old midfielder comes in as a replacement for budding Mexico National Team star Hirving Lozano, who signed with PSV Eindhoven earlier this summer, though the pair play different roles in midfield.
Honda only played in eight games in Serie A last season and will have his hands full with adjusting to the language and culture of Mexico along with the Liga MX style of play. However, if Gignac’s example is anything to follow, after some time to bed in, Honda can have a big impact in Mexico and could encourage others to join.
Pachuca is coming off defeating Mexican giants Club America in the Clausura Liguilla final and as winners of the CONCACAF Champions League, they’ll be playing this winter in the 2017 Club World Cup.
Honda will also be teammates with U.S. Men’s National Team centerback Omar Gonzalez.