Japan star Honda 'stuck in a rut' at CSKA

TOKYO - Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda fears the brakes have been slammed on his career by CSKA Moscow and has called on the Russian side to let him move to a bigger club.

The 24-year-old shot to prominence at last year's World Cup in South Africa by helping Japan reach the last 16, but admitted his career had reached a crossroads.

"It's agonising," Honda, who has been heavily linked with English Premier League clubs Liverpool and Arsenal, told Japan's Nikkan Sports newspaper.

"I can't stay like this. I said I wanted Japan to win the World Cup. I was MVP at the Asian Cup in January but I'm still not happy with things."

The bleached-blond Honda played a key role Japan's record fourth Asian Cup triumph in Qatar, but CSKA have repeatedly issued a "hands off" warning to prospective European suitors.

As his star continues to rise on the international stage, Honda has made no attempt to hide his frustration at being stuck in a rut.

"I'm happy people give me credit after Japan win games. It's a great feeling," said Honda, who had a spell at Dutch club Venlo before moving to Russia.

"I don't mind getting a hammering when we lose either, although it can sting sometimes. I put that pressure on myself.

"But right now I'm in a rut still being at CSKA. This wasn't what I planned. If I don't accept it I can't live my life. But if I get too used to my circumstances I'll come to a halt.

"That scares me."