Photo/Illutration Maya Yoshida, the captain of Japan's men's soccer team, responds to questions ahead of the Feb. 1 Asian Cup final against Qatar. (Shinnosuke Ito)

Japan captain Maya Yoshida has joined Schalke on a one-year contract from Italian side Sampdoria, the Bundesliga club said.

Yoshida, who led the Samurai Blue to World Cup qualification earlier this year, has signed for the newly promoted side after two-and-a-half seasons in Serie A.

“It’s good to know new football,” said Yoshida. “I’m a very curious man so I believe I can learn many new things from new football, a new culture. I’m buzzing.”

The 33-year-old previously spent seven-and-a-half seasons in the Premier League with Southampton and is Japan’s fourth-most capped player with 119 appearances.