WESTERN Sydney marquee player Shinji Ono has regularly spoken about his love of the city and the Wanderers club during his time in Australia.
But a desire to return to Japan to be with his wife and young family will see him depart the A-League after his contract expires in May.
In June, Ono will link up with J-League Division 2 club Consadole Sapporo to play out the remainder of the season in Japan, as the club chases promotion to the top tier.
Wanderers executive chairman Lyall Gorman yesterday expressed the club's admiration for the man nicknamed "the genius".
"Shinji is the ultimate professional on and off the field, and the ultimate gentleman. He will leave us with long-lasting memories," Gorman said.
Gorman said it wasn't an issue of the Japanese legend wanting more money.
Ono has made 39 appearances and scored nine goals for the Wanderers.
He scored the A-League goal of the season last summer against the Phoenix - a magical two-touch juggling effort, before a slick swivel and left-foot shot that found the back of the net.
And his chipped goal against the Roar in last season's finals campaign, which came in at No.4, drew comparisons with Eric Cantona's incredible goal against Sunderland for Manchester United in 1996.
Ono will help lead
Western Sydney in its 2014 AFC Asian Champions League debut before leaving the club.