A colossal name in Asian football, Hidetoshi Nakata has played a pivotal role in Japan’s relationship with the FIFA World Cup™. A veteran of three editions of the tournament – and a starting midfielder when Samurai Blue made their debut at France 1998 – Nakata holds his nation’s appearance record at the global finals.
From experiencing the buzz of playing in his country’s first World Cup fixture to carrying the hopes of the co-hosts in 2002, Nakata has lived and breathed the beautiful game. The Asian football legend reflects on a stellar career.
The above footage is part of FIFA’s archive of videos highlighting significant stories in FIFA World Cup history