Hidetoshi Nakata profile
Name: Hidetoshi Nakata
Birth date: January 22, 1977
Birthplace: Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
First Club: Bellmare Hiratsuka, Japan
Career debut: 1995
International team: Japan
International debut: May 1997 vs South Korea
Former Japanese international football and fashion icon Hidetoshi Nakata is in Rwanda assess the success of his involvement in humanitarian aid projects in Africa.
Together with FIFA, Nakata who is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador is traveling around the continent to deepen his understanding of African development challenges and the collective response taken by the UN.
Invited by the United Nations Development Programme; Rwanda, Nakata will visit the Millennium Village Project in Mayange where he will interact with the local communities. He will also visit the Mayange health center, the Mayange Primary School and a women basket weaving cooperative.
The 31-year old turned an ambassador after announcing his retirement two years ago after a ten-year career that included seven seasons in the Italian Serie A and a season in the English Premiership.
He played for; Parma A.C. (Italy, 2001 - 2004), Bologna F.C. (Italy), A.C. Perugia (Italy), A.S. Roma (Italy), ACF Fiorentina (Italy), Belmare Hiratsuka (Japan) and Bolton Wanderers (United Kingdom).
Nakata began his professional career in 1995, winning the Asian Football Confederation Player of the Year award in 1997 and 1998 as well as the Scudetto with A.S. Roma in 2001.
He played for Japan in three FIFA World Cup tournaments (1998, 2002 and 2006) and featured in the Olympics twice (1996 and 2000).
In 2005, he was made the Knight of the Star of Italian Solidarity, one of the Italy’s highest honors, for improving the country’s image overseas.
Nakata was also named by Brazilian legend Pele in his 125 Top Living Footballers in March 2004.