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Hidetoshi NakataRed Blood Wound


Hidetoshi Nakata was born on 22nd January 1977, Yamanashi in Japan. He started his football journey with Hokushin Boys Football Club’s youth side in 1986.

Nakata went on to become the most popular footballer in Japan and arguably the most popular Asian footballer of all time. He played in the top flight of two European leagues, the Italian Serie A and the English Premier League. He was the AFC’s Player of the Year in 1997 and 1998, and FIFA named him in their list of top living footballers in 2004. He was also nominated three times for the Ballon d'Or and four times for the FIFA World Player of the Year.

Outside of football, Nakata has shown a great interest in fashion, attending runway shows, wearing high-end designer clothing and sporting colorful haircuts. In Japan, he is a fashion icon and often regarded as the 'Asian' David Beckham. Due to his status on and off the pitch, he has become a role model for many Asian football exports to Europe. Andrea Tenerani, a photographer for GQ in Italy said of Nakata, 'He's perfect; he's like a model - and he's totally obsessed with fashion.'

One of the most iconic pieces he has worn is a very rare couture shirt by Dior Homme. The white, sleeveless shirt has a huge blood stain made-up of hand sewn red beads and sequins. It was a piece from the 'Red/Boys Don't Cry' collection (2002) known as the 'blood wound' shirt.

During his 10 year career, he played for the Japanese national team in three FIFA World Cup tournaments and twice in the Olympics. Nakata surprised many people within and around football when he retired in 2006 at the age of 29, still very much in his prime. He'd made 77 appearances for Japan and scored 11 goals.

On March 11, 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck offshore Japan. Even in a country which experiences many earthquakes, the scale of this disaster is the biggest in living memory. On hearing the news, Nakata immediately cancelled his business schedule and focused his time and energy on supporting the fundraising activities, to aid the suffering in his homeland. He quickly took action by organising football events, bringing together A-list celebrities and famous football contributors through the ‘Take Action Foundation’ of which he is the Representative Director.

He stated in an interview with the BBC 'Sports is really big - especially football is worldwide. Football can bring and connect all the people which is very important right now and also for the future as well.'

'He will be remembered as the catalyst of Asian and Japanese football'.
Sam Allardyce

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