Kazuyoshi Miura got his name entered in the record book of Japanese football when he became the first player from his country to get into Italian football.But Miura, for years Nippon's best known and most popular player, did not really make it with FC Genoa.This player, whom the well-known French magazine "France Football" has rated among the top 50 in the world, is still a rather modest, quiet, fairly word-shy person, but he comes over as having a friendly and sympathetic nature.During media interviews he only allows a few questions, since his command of Italian is not yet very strong.AC Bologna offered around 15 million US dollars for his transfer, but the Gaucci family who are the owners of AC Perugia simply laughed and hinted that for that kind of money they might be able to buy one ear or one of Nakata's old boots.
His Asian followers will buy anything associated with the name Nakata - shirts, shorts, socks, caps, gloves, underwear, cups, watches, stickers.
At 22 years of age Hidetoshi Nakata has already been voted Asia's "Player of the Year" two seasons in a row, and now as the first Japanese ever to do so he is making a hit in Europe.
In his first year with AC Perugia in the Italian Serie-A he caused quite a sensation, and the level of excitement back home is reaching hysteria level.
Last season during the Italian championship, an estimated 3000 Japanese spectators were in Italy to watch each of Perugia's home games, many of whom had made a special trip from Tokyo or Osaka just to watch him play.
But despite being voted Asia's "Footballer of the Year" in 19, Nakata has not let all the fame go to his head.