Going cheap: Ex-Japan striker

TOKYO - Former Japan striker Masashi Nakayama, the J-League's record goal scorer, is struggling to find a new club at the ripe old age of 42.

Nakayama, famous for scoring Japan's first World Cup finals goal in 1998, has been turned down by semi-professional Nagasaki, the Japan Football League club said on Sunday.

The forward's search for new employers has been met with a frosty reception, with front offices unwilling to take a risk on a 42-year-old during tough economic times for Japanese clubs.

Surplus to requirements at J-League first division side Jubilo Iwata, where he has played since making his professional debut in 1990, Nakayama's options are running out.

Japanese second division sides Sapporo, in northern Japan, and Kumamoto, at the opposite end of the country, are the clubs Nakayama's agents are targeting, local media reported.

Nakayama has scored a record 157 J-League first division goals and won the golden boot award in 1998 and 2000. He scored 21 goals in 53 games for Japan.