Japan’s football legend Hidetoshi Nakata might have retired early from his career, but he still spent more than 10 years playing high-level football. Representing his country in three world cups and appearing in Serie A and the Barclay’s Premier League, Hidetoshi Nakata was definitely one of the greatest footballers of his country.
Nakata has won 77 caps for Japan over the course of this career and even won cups in Serie A. Well keeping Cristiano Ronaldo v Lionel Messi conversation aside.
Nakata’s Highs and Lows in Football
When Hidetoshi Nakata made his debut in the mid-nineties, Japanese football wasn’t really a thing till then. Nakata wasn’t actually inspired by a specific player or a team, he was highly influenced by anime and manga series, Captain Tsubasa, an anime, aired in the eighties. From his early age, Nakata looked at football from more of a European standpoint instead of a Japanese perspective.
Hidetoshi Nakata’s career had lows in it too, not really when Japan was obliterated by South Korea at the 2002 World Cup. Nakata’s club football had some disappointments too, seeing constant jumps from one club to another on loans.
Nakata retired in 2006 at the age of 29. He does miss football but never regrets his decision to retire so early.
The Secret to His Success?
In a time where every player is using high-quality diet plans and high-tech equipment. Nakata revealed his secret behind those exceptional performances: pre-match power naps. Yes, he used to take naps just before the matches. In a recent report, he told, that he even slept in the locker rooms before the match. He mentioned in his statements that, every footballer reaches the stadium one and a half hour before the match. And the players have around 30-40 minutes free time, well Nakata used it for sleeping.