The second Japanese player to appear in Italy's Serie A, Hidetoshi Nakata became one of the most famous Asians in soccer. With a career spanning ten years, Hidetoshi played for AC Perugia, Roma Parma, Bologna and Fiorentina in Italy, plus a year at Bolton Wanderers in the English Premier League.
On the international front, Nakata debuted in May 1997 in a match against Korea. He represented Japan in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, and at the 1998, 2002, and 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Nakata retired on July 3, 2006 at age 29. He modeled for Calvin Klein underwear in 2010.
Born: January 22, 1977
Weight: 72 kg
- Japanese Footballer of the Year, 1997
- Selected to FIFA 100 in 2004
- Nominee for FIFA World Player of the Year, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002
- Nominee for Ballon d'Or, 1998, 1999, 2001
- Signed by Perugia for $4 million; second Japanese to play in Serie A