Shunsuke Nakamura
born 24 June 1978 in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture is a Japanese footballer who currently plays for Yokohama F. Marinos in J. League Division 1. He is one of the most prominent and successful Asian players to have played in Scotland and on 13 September 2006 became the first Japanese player to score in the UEFA Champions League and the second Asian player to do so.He is also well known for his free kick-taking abilities. Asteroid 29986 Shunsuke is also named in his honour.

He has won the Asian Cup in 2000 and 2004 with the Japanese national football team, and was named Most Valuable Player in the 2004 competition. He has also appeared in the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship, and the 2000 Summer Olympics as a member of the Japanese Under-23 team.

In his first season with Celtic, Nakamura helped the club win the Scottish Premier League and Scottish League Cup. He has scored 23 goals for Japan. His former clubs include Yokohama F. Marinos and Reggina, for whom he scored 38 and 12 goals respectively before moving to Celtic on 25 July 2005 for a fee of around £2.75 million.

Nakamura is a winger and was usually deployed by Celtic on the right hand side of midfield. He had previously been positioned in the centre or on the left hand side of the pitch, since he is left-footed.

He is known for his vision and touch of the ball, as well as being a set-piece specialist. He can create scoring opportunities for his teammates but is also capable of scoring himself. Former Shimizu S-Pulse and Kashiwa Reysol manager and Tottenham Hotspur player Steve Perryman once remarked that Nakamura was so good, he "could open a tin of beans with his left foot".

Slightly built, weighing just 68 kg, Nakamura has been criticized for lack of strength on the ball, and his physical weakness was one of the reason for his omission from Japan's 2002 FIFA World Cup squad. He addressed this shortcoming during his three seasons in Italy, and flourished in the more physical Scottish Premier League.

Born and raised in Yokohama, Japan, Nakamura began playing football competitively at age 5, playing with the local youth club side Misono FC until he entered junior high school. In fifth grade, he was selected for Yokohama's city all-star team's tour of the former Soviet Union, even though the team was only meant to include sixth graders.

In 1991 at age 12, he joined Nissan FC Junior Youth, the youth division of Nissan Motors' club side, which would become Yokohama Marinos when J. League began play in 1993.

However, Nakamura was not promoted to the Nissan FC Youth team in 1994, and he enrolled at Tokyo Gakuen High School in Kawasaki. There, Nakamura was named the most valuable player of Japan's national high school football tournament in 1995, and led the school to the tournament final in 1996.

After graduation from Tokyo Gakuen in 1997, Nakamura signed with the local club, Yokohama Marinos.


Name: Shunsuke Nakamura
Date of birth: 24 June 1978
Place of birth: Yokohama, Japan
Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position: Midfielder

Club information
Current club: Yokohama F. Marinos
Number: 25

Youth career
1991–1993 Nissan Junior Youth
1994–1996 Tokyo Gakuen High School

Senior career
1997–2002 Yokohama Marinos /
Yokohama F. Marinos 176 (45)
2002–2005 Reggina 81 (11)
2005–2009 Celtic 128 (29)
2009–2010 Espanyol 12 (0)
2010– Yokohama F. Marinos 14 (3)

National team
1996–1997 Japan U20 11 (2)
1998–2000 Japan U23 18 (7)
2000–2010 Japan 98 (24)


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