|Birth Day:||January 22, 1977|
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He won the Scudetto with A.S. Roma in Italy and was awarded the Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity.
Nakata began his professional career at age 18 in 1995, with J1 League side Bellmare Hiratsuka (now Shonan Bellmare). He played many matches as offensive midfielder from first season and the club won the champions in 1995 Asian Cup Winners' Cup first Asian title in club history. At the final against Al-Talaba, he scored a winning goal in the 81st minute. From 1996, he became a regular player and he was selected J.League Best XI in 1997. After the 1998 World Cup in France, Nakata was signed by Perugia in Italy's Serie A for 4 million U.S. dollars, becoming the second Japanese player ever to appear in the Italian top league after Kazuyoshi Miura had done it for Genoa four years earlier. In his first season in Italy, Nakata scored 10 goals, his single-season highest total.
After having represented U-17 Japan at the 1993 U-17 World Championship (where he scored a goal) and U-20 Japan at the 1995 U-20 World Championship (where he scored twice), Nakata was part of the U-23 Japan squads at the 1996 Olympics, where Japan upset Brazil, and at the 2000 Olympics. His senior national team debut came in May 1997 against South Korea.
In January 2000, after one and a half seasons at Perugia, Nakata moved to Roma for 42 billion lire helping the team win the scudetto. The highlight of Nakata's career at Roma came on 6 May 2001 in the Serie A match against Juventus at Stadio Delle Alpi. After replacing Francesco Totti in the second half with Roma trailing 0–2, Nakata netted with a 30-yard goal beyond Juventus goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar's reach, with 11 minutes left in the match. He then helped Roma score the equalizer when his fierce drive from outside the box was parried by Van der Sar into the path of Vincenzo Montella, who scored for Roma in the last minute. The match ended with a 2–2 draw and Roma maintained a six-point margin at top of the league table.
Despite Nakata playing every match in Japan's first three World Cup appearances, he was not selected for the country's Asian Cup-winning squads in 2000 and 2004. In total, he was capped 77 times for Japan, scoring 11 goals, 9 of which came in official FIFA competitions.
In the summer of 2001, Nakata penned a four-year deal with Parma for a transfer fee of 55 billion lire, a world record payment for an Asian player which would not be broken for 14 years. He made his club debut on 8 August 2001 in their 0–2 defeat at Stadio Ennio Tardini against Lille in the first leg of the third round of the Champions League. More than one month later, on 23 September, Nakata scored his first goal for Parma in Serie A at home over Brescia, which also proved to be the winning goal of the match. Nakata played there for two and a half seasons, where he scored a crucial goal during the 2001–02 season in the 1–2 first leg deficit of the Coppa Italia final against Juventus, which Parma eventually won.
In January 2004, Nakata joined Bologna where he played the remainder of the 2003–04 season before moving to Fiorentina, where he played the following season. In August 2005, Nakata moved to Premiership side Bolton Wanderers on loan. During his season at Bolton, which would be the last of his professional career, he scored once in the league, in a 2–0 win over West Bromwich Albion.
At the 2006 World Cup, Nakata played in all three matches for Japan, losing to Australia and Brazil, and drawing with Croatia. His performance against Croatia earned him a Man of the Match award. After the 2006 FIFA World Cup, on 3 July 2006, Nakata announced his retirement from professional football and the Japanese national team on his personal website "I decided half a year ago that I would retire from the world of professional football ... after the World Cup in Germany." Nakata wrote, "I will never again stand on the pitch as a professional player. But I will never give up football." In a 2014 interview in TMW Magazine, Nakata confirmed that he had retired at such a young age because he was no longer enjoying football, and wanted instead to see what was going on in the world.
Often regarded as a Japanese David Beckham, Nakata is an editor-at-large at Monocle magazine at the invitation of his friend Tyler Brûlé, who serves as the magazine's editor-in-chief. Nakata has cited the popular manga and anime series, Captain Tsubasa, as his primary inspiration in choosing football as a career. In recent years, he has also been an active supporter of Special Olympics football and participated in the 2010 Special Olympics Unity Cup in South Africa during the World Cup. Nakata was named a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics in 2014.
Outside football, Nakata has shown interest in fashion, attending runway shows, wearing designer clothing and sporting colorful haircuts. He dyed his hair blond for the 1998 World Cup, hoping to attract the attention of European scouts. Japanese hairstylist Aki Watanabe credits him as a trendsetter. Andrea Tenerani, photographer for GQ in Italy said of Nakata, "He's perfect; he's like a model. And he's totally obsessed with fashion." Calvin Klein designer Italo Zucchelli said, "(Nakata) plays with fashion like all of them now, but in a cooler, more sophisticated way than many others." He is one of the models featuring the Calvin Klein underwear campaign 2010. He was featured in the July 2007 US version of GQ with a 12-page spread on fall fashion. He was featured in GQ in his home country in December 2011.
Having been signed to sportswear company Nike, Nakata featured in Nike's "Secret Tournament" advertisement (branded "Scorpion KO") directed by Terry Gilliam, in the buildup to the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan. He appeared alongside other star football players from around the world, including Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Luís Figo, Thierry Henry, Roberto Carlos and Francesco Totti, with former player Eric Cantona the tournament "referee". Nakata featured on the front cover of various Japanese editions of EA Sports’ FIFA video game series, including FIFA Football 2002. In 2018, Nakata was added as an icon to the Ultimate Team in FIFA 19. In the 2012 video game Inazuma Eleven 2: Firestorm and Blizzard Nakata was added as a player.
Currently, Hidetoshi Nakata is 46 years, 4 months and 14 days old. Hidetoshi Nakata will celebrate 47th birthday on a Monday 22nd of January 2024.
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