RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Hundreds of Botafogo fans chanted Keisuke Honda’s name as they raucously greeted the club’s new Japanese signing at Rio de Janeiro airport on Friday.

The former AC Milan midfielder was also serenaded by samba percussionists as well as fans waving Japanese flags as he arrived to join the Brazilian club.

Honda, who played for CSKA Moscow and AC Milan in a globe-trotting career, signed from Vitesse Arnhem last week. Local media reported that it was an 11-month deal.

The 33-year-old follows in the footsteps of foreign signings such as Dutchman Clarence Seedorf and Uruguayan Sebastian Abreu, who both became cult figures during their time at Botafogo.

Honda will be charged with helping Botafogo win the Rio state championship that kicked off last month and also halt the march of Rio rivals Flamengo, who dominated Brazilian football last year.

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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