Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

June 5, 2010

Hidetoshi Nakata – some thoughts

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:53 pm

I saw Hidetoshi Nakata for the first time back in 2004 I guess.  I arrived in Japan just after the World Cup, and his image was hard to miss. Selling phones, magazines, it was Beckhamesque. And he`s back, selling diet coke or something.  Long after his retirement, he is still in the public eye.

But I never really had a good look at his play.  Saw him in the 2006 game against Oz, but I was so excited for that game that I didn`t really take notice of particular players.

I was just rewatching the Japan – Oz and Japan – Brazil games from 2006 and decided to have a proper look at Nakata.

He seemed to play a deeper role (with some movement upfield), sizing up the situation in front of him quickly and usually spreading the ball – effectively, and usually with one touch.  I read somewhere that he played further upfield while in Italy and had an eye for goal, but what I saw in those 2006 games was a deeper lying playmaker / string puller type.

Retired at 29, seemed like one of the more thoughtful footballers around in interviews, dated Milla Jojovich (bastard …), won a Scudetto.  Perhaps he never settled in a club, or reached his full potential … he did march to his own drummer.

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