Japan’s most famous player, the former Celtic playmaker is central to the national side’s ambitions. Nakamura is a left-footed dead ball specialist, most often deployed on the right wing, although he can also play on the left or centre.
Controversially not included in Philippe Troussier’s squad in 2002 because he was considered too frail, he scored Japan’s first goal at the 2006 World Cup against Australia.
Once described by Gordon Strachan, his manager in Glasgow, as “one of the most brilliant playmakers I have ever seen”, Nakamura has a wealth of experience in Europe.
He joined Serie A side Reggina in 2002 after six seasons with Yokohama F-Marinos. His performances in Italy earned him a £2.5m move to Celtic in 2005, and under Strachan he won three successive SPL titles and was named the Scottish PFA Players' Player of the Year and Scottish Football Writers' Association Player of the Year for the 2006/07 season.
After four seasons in Scotland (29 goals in 128 SPL appearances) Nakamura joined Espanyol last year but, fed up with warming the bench, he swiftly returned to his homeland and rejoined Marinos in February.
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