Hidetoshi Nakata (born 22 January 1977) is a former Japanese football player who played as an attacking midfielder for Bellmare Hiratsuka, Perugia, Roma, Parma and Bolton.
Often named as one of the most famous Asian footballers of his generation, and possibly the greatest Japanese player of all time.
Career in Japan
Began his professional career at age 18, with J1 League side Bellmare Hiratsuka (now Shonan Bellmare).
Won the Asian Cup Winners Cup in 1996.
Scored 16 goals in 85 matches before moving to Italy following impressive performances in the 1998 World Cup.
Career in Italy
Became only the second Japanese player to play in Italy when he signed for Serie A side Perugia in 1998.
Scored 10 goals from midfield in his first season.
Move to Roma the following season for €21.691 million.
Named the Asian Football Confederation Player of the Year award in 1997 and 1998.
Won the scudetto in his first season with Roma in 2001.
Left Roma for Parma in the summer of 2001, signing a four-year deal for €28.4 million. The fee was a world record for an Asian player.
Scored his first goal for Parma in a home over Brescia.
Won the Coppa Italia 2001-02, beating Juventus in the final.
Joined Bologna on loan for the remainder of the 2003–04 season before moving to Fiorentina the following season.
Joined English side Bolton Wanderers on loan in 2015, This would be the last of his professional career.
Nakata announced his retirement aged just 29 in July 2006.
Played for Japan in three World Cup tournaments (1998, 2002 and 2006) and competed in the Olympics twice (1996 and 2000)