Castro v Honda: Two illustrious careers (Part 2)


After looking at Castro and Honda’s formative years in Part One of our feature (https://www.perthglory.com.au/news/castro-v-honda-two-illustrious-careers-part-1), we now focus on what came next for the gifted duo in Part Two…

After a long journey towards making his first La Liga appearance, Castro established himself as a top-flight stalwart with Sporting Gijon.

Meanwhile, 3000km away in snowy Moscow, Keisuke Honda announced himself as a CSKA hero with a brilliant UEFA Champions League free kick against Sevilla.

Much more was to come for both men.

European excellence: Honda from Moscow to Milan, Castro to Madrid

While Perth Glory had signed Shane Smeltz and Travis Dodd in an eventful off-season, June 2011 also saw Castro on the move as he left Gijon to join fellow-top-division side Getafe.
The 28-year-old, who arrived on a free, would go onto stay at the club based in Madrid’s southern suburbs for a total of four seasons before his move to Perth Glory.

Castro Iniesta

Despite playing for an extra year at Gijon, Castro earned most of his La Liga starts at Getafe, appearing on 129 occasions for the Azulones and scoring 18 times.
He scored notable goals against ex-Glory midfielder Xavi Torres’ side, Real Betis, a Panenka penalty against RCD Mallorca and perhaps in most impressive fashion, a long range curling strike against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Honda, meanwhile, continued to build his reputation in Russia. The Japanese midfielder would score 28 goals for the ‘Armeitsy’ (Army Boys) in 127 appearances in all competitions. He would win just one trophy (the 2010-11 Russian Cup), however, until a hugely successful 2012-2013 season for CSKA when the club claimed the Russian Premier League and Cup double.

Honda CSKA

At international level, Honda was also excelling, being named the 2011 AFC Asian Cup Most Valuable Player after Japan claimed the trophy with a 1-0 extra-time victory over Australia in the final.
This honour, coupled with his performances in Russia, saw him secure a move to Italian giants, AC Milan.

Signed by current Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, the 27-year-old endured a difficult start at Milan in 2014.
However, his second season would prove his most prolific despite Milan’s woes onfield, as he scored six goals in 30 matches for the Rossoneri, who would eventually finish in tenth place in Serie A.
Honda would ultimately finish his stint in Italy with 11 goals in 92 appearances and a bag full of assists.

Today: Chasing Championships in Australia

A spell in Mexico and another successful FIFA World Cup for Honda preceded his move to the Hyundai A-League, three seasons after Castro who had joined Perth Glory in 2015.
Honda’s signing was considered a coup for the league, with the Japanese legend recognised as part of the AFC Asian Cup All-Time Best XI.
He linked up with Melbourne Victory in August last year, alongside Sweden’s 2018 FIFA World Cup striker Ola Toivonen in a prolific transfer window for the navy-and-whites and so far in 2018/19, has scored six goals in 13 games.

As for Castro, he marked his debut A-League season by claiming the Johnny Warren Medal and is now regarded as one of the competition’s greatest ever imports.

‘El Maestro’ has scored 38 times in 90 league matches for Glory, with six of those goals coming from his 15 appearances this term.

These two creative geniuses face off at HBF Park this Saturday at 7pm, so make sure you’re at the match to see them do what they do best.

Tickets are available on Ticketmaster HERE.