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Marseille complete move for Japanese defender Sakai

Japan's national soccer team player Hiroki Sakai attends a send-off ceremony for the 2014 World Cup, in Tokyo May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/Files
Japan's national soccer team player Hiroki Sakai attends a send-off ceremony for the 2014 World Cup, in Tokyo May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/Files

REUTERS - Marseille have completed the signing of Japanese defender Hiroki Sakai, the Ligue 1 club announced on their website.

The 26-year-old was a free agent after his contract expired at Hannover 96, who were relegated from the Bundesliga last season.

"This is a big club for me. I am delighted," said Sakai, who made 96 appearances during his four seasons at the German club.

"I can't wait for the first training session," he told the club's website on Thursday.

Sakai has 27 caps for Japan and was part of the squad that reached the semi-finals of the 2012 London Olympics tournament.

Marseille finished 13th in the table last season.

(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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