Shunsuke Nakamura

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shunsuke Nakamura
Nakamura with Japan in 2008
Personal information
Date of birth (1978-06-24) 24 June 1978 (age 45)[1]
Place of birth Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Position(s) Attacking midfielder
Team information
Current team
Yokohama FC (first team coach)
Youth career
1991–1993 Yokohama F. Marinos
1994–1996 Tōkō Gakuen High School [ja]
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2002 Yokohama F. Marinos 148 (33)
2002–2005 Reggina 81 (11)
2005–2009 Celtic 128 (29)
2009–2010 Espanyol 13 (0)
2010–2017 Yokohama F. Marinos 190 (35)
2017–2019 Júbilo Iwata 48 (5)
2019–2022 Yokohama FC 38 (1)
Total 646 (115)
International career
1997 Japan U-20 5 (1)
2000 Japan U-23 4 (0)
2000–2010 Japan 98 (24)
Medal record
Representing  Japan
AFC Asian Cup
Winner 2000 Lebanon
Winner 2004 China
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Shunsuke Nakamura[1] (Japanese: 中村 俊輔, Hepburn: Nakamura Shunsuke, born 24 June 1978) is a Japanese former professional footballer. He is currently a first-team coach of Yokohama FC.[3] He is the only person to have been named J.League Most Valuable Player more than once, receiving the award in 2000 and 2013.[4] Renowned as one of the best free kick takers ever, Steve Perryman once remarked that Nakamura "could open a tin of beans with his left foot".[5]

Nakamura began his professional career with J1 League club Yokohama Marinos in 1997,[6][note 1] eventually making 338 league appearances during two spells at the club totalling just over twelve seasons.[7] In between his spells at Marinos, Nakamura played in Europe with Espanyol, Celtic, and Reggina. During his time at Celtic, he became one of the best Asian players to have ever played in Europe; he was nominated for the 2007 Ballon d'Or,[8] was named Scottish Player of the Year[9] and SFWA Footballer of the Year[10] in 2007, and became the first Japanese player to score in the UEFA Champions League.[11][note 2] His team accomplishments at Celtic include winning the Scottish Premier League in 2006, 2007, and 2008, the Scottish League Cup in 2006 and 2009, and the Scottish Cup in 2007.[12]

Nakamura has 98 caps and 24 goals for the Japan national football team, including appearances in the FIFA World Cup finals in 2006 and 2010[13] and winning the AFC Asian Cup in 2000 and 2004; he was named Most Valuable Player of the 2004 competition.[14] He also appeared in the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship as a member of the Japan under-20 team and the 2000 Summer Olympics as a member of the Japan under-23 team.[15]

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in Yokohama, Japan, Nakamura began playing football competitively at age 5 with local junior club side Misono FC, where his playmaking abilities already garnered attention from locals.[16] In fifth grade, he was selected for Yokohama's city junior all-star team's tour of the Soviet Union,[17] even though the team was only meant to include sixth graders.[citation needed]

At age 12 in 1991, Nakamura joined the youth setup of Nissan Motors F.C. [ja],[16] one of the predecessors of the club known today as Yokohama F. Marinos. While training at the youth setup, Nakamura was already honing his dead-ball technique, practising free kicks for an hour every day outside of team practice;[17] his coaches also acknowledged he had good ball skills and technique.[17] However, at that time Nakamura was physically underdeveloped compared to his teammates and struggled to transition to the youth level, and eventually was not chosen for the youth team.[18]

Rather than continue on the fringes of Nissan's youth setup, Nakamura instead decided to enroll at Tōkō Gakuen High School [ja] in Kawasaki,[19] despite the school being a two-and-a-half-hour commute each way.[20] Nakamura led Tōkō Gakuen to Japan's national high school football tournament in 1995 and to the tournament final in 1996.[21] It was his performance there that earned him a call-up to the Japan under-20 team for the 1996 AFC Youth Championship[15] and subsequently for the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship.[6][15]

By his graduation from Tōkō Gakuen in 1997, Nakamura had attracted interest from several top-flight Japanese clubs, including offers from Júbilo Iwata, Verdy Kawasaki, and Gamba Osaka.[22]

Club career[edit]

Yokohama Marinos[edit]

In 1997, Nakamura chose to sign with J.League Division 1 club Yokohama Marinos,[6][note 1] the club whose youth setup he had left only a few years earlier. Nakamura made his début with Marinos on 8 March in a J.League Cup match against Verdy Kawasaki[23][24][25] and his league début on 16 April against Gamba Osaka.[citation needed] Nakamura finished his rookie season with 31 appearances and 5 goals.[26]

Nakamura had his break-out season the following year in 1998, making 37 appearances and scoring 10 goals; his playmaking ability in creating scoring chances for teammates also contributed to Nakamura being considered one of the best young players in Japan.[26] In 2000, Nakamura had his best season in Yokohama, recording 5 goals and 11 assists[citation needed] in league play, helping Marinos to the first-stage championship;[26] Nakamura was awarded J.League Most Valuable Player for his contributions.[26][27] The following year, Nakamura made 31 appearances and scored 5 goals in all competitions, including 6 appearances and 2 goals in the 2001 J.League Cup, which the Marinos won.[28]

Due to his success, Nakamura became the subject of transfer target rumours from a number of European clubs including Real Madrid[29][30] and several Lega Calcio sides such as Reggina, Chievo, Perugia, Napoli, Lecce, and Atalanta.[31] Nakamura felt he had to leave Japan and play in Europe to further develop and advance his career, especially after the disappointment of being left off of Japan's 2002 World Cup squad.[30][32] Nakamura left Marinos partway through the 2002 season to join Reggina, newly promoted to Serie A, after the clubs agreed to a 6-month loan and US$3.5 million transfer fee.[30] Prior to his departure from Marinos, Nakamura remained in top form, scoring 4 goals in 8 appearances.[28]


Nakamura had come to the attention of Reggina scouts after an international match against Honduras during the 2002 Kirin Cup in which Nakamura had a standout performance and scored two goals.[15][33] Reggina gained promotion to Serie A after the 2001–02 season and had already been looking to sign a marquee player for some time.[33] It is said that, on the day Reggina secured promotion, then-Chairman Pasquale Foti had already called the Marinos to inquire about a Nakamura transfer while Reggina's players were still on the pitch celebrating.[34]

Expectations for Nakamura were very high; the prestigious number 10 shirt was even taken from teammate Francesco Cozza and given to Nakamura,[35] and the club sold 25,000 Nakamura shirts in the first five months he was at the club.[36] Nakamura responded by scoring in three consecutive matches early in the season; in league play, Nakamura finished the season with 32 appearances and tied for the team lead with 7 goals,[37] helping Reggina narrowly avoid relegation (Reggina defeated Atalanta in the relegation playoff).

Nakamura struggled with injuries in 2003 and was limited to just 18 appearances in the 2003–04 season (these injuries also caused him to miss a 2003 Confederations Cup game against Colombia and national team duty in November 2003).[38] Additionally, Reggina underwent four managerial changes in just Nakamura's first two years at the club;[39] Walter Mazzarri, hired in the summer of 2004, would already be Nakamura's fifth manager at Reggina. The frequent changes resulted in Nakamura mostly coming off the bench during the 2003–04 season[35][40][41] and not fitting in well under Mazzarri in 2004–05 when Reggina only scored 36 goals in their entire league campaign,[42] with Nakamura only managing to contribute two goals (although each came in crucial 1–0 league victories in a season where Reggina finished only 2 points clear of the relegation zone).[43] Coupled with Reggina's struggle to avoid relegation every season that he had been at the club, Nakamura became concerned he was regressing from top-level football[44] and decided it was time to move on.


Nakamura expressed interest in playing in Spain and media reports linked him to La Liga sides Atlético Madrid and Deportivo[45][46] as well as Bundesliga clubs Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach in the summer of 2005.[citation needed] Other European clubs including Leeds United,[47] Lazio,[40] and Parma[48] reportedly had also expressed interest during Nakamura's time at Reggina, but Nakamura ultimately chose to join Scottish Premier League runners-up Celtic.[49]

New manager Gordon Strachan became interested in acquiring Nakamura due to his national team appearances in the 2005 Confederations Cup,[50] in particular for his performance against Brazil[51] in which Nakamura scored a goal and helped Japan to a 2–2 draw.[13] The deal with Celtic was completed on 29 July 2005 for a reported transfer fee of £2.5 million,[49] although Strachan has claimed the actual fee was far lower;[52] part of the discrepancy may be due to the deal involving Celtic securing the player's image rights[53] with a view to enhancing the club's profile and merchandising sales in the Far East.[49] In welcoming Nakamura to the club, Strachan stated that Nakamura "has got imagination and he sees passes other people can't see."[49]

2005–06 season[edit]

Nakamura warming up ahead of Celtic's clash with Dundee United on 6 August 2005

Nakamura joined Celtic at a time of relative crisis for the club and new manager Strachan.[54] Celtic had been eliminated from European competition after being unable to overcome a shock 0–5 first leg defeat to Artmedia Bratislava in the second qualifying round of the 2005–06 Champions League and also had an inauspicious start to the league season, needing an injury time equaliser from Craig Beattie just to draw with Motherwell in the league opener.[54][55] For this reason, Strachan immediately inserted Nakamura into the match day line-up for the second league game of the season against Dundee United on 6 August, despite Nakamura not being match fit as he had not played since the Confederations Cup earlier in the summer.[54] Nevertheless, Nakamura had an excellent debut and was named Man of the Match,[56] earning a standing ovation from the home Celtic support when he was substituted in the 84th minute.[57][58] Both Tommy Burns and Neil Lennon, at the time first-team coach and club captain, respectively, have credited Nakamura's arrival at Celtic with helping turn around Celtic's disappointing start to the season.[59]

Nakamura finished his debut season at Celtic with 38 appearances, 6 goals, and 10 assists.[60] His creativity, as well as his work ethic and composure under pressure, won praise from teammates, manager Gordon Strachan and Celtic supporters.[61][62] In reviewing Nakamura's debut season, Strachan said that Nakamura's "touch and vision were outstanding... In goal assists, I really do not think there is a player in Scotland to touch him."[60] In his first season with Celtic, Nakamura won his first major club titles, the Scottish Premier League and Scottish League Cup.[63]

2006–07 season[edit]

Nakamura battling for the ball with Karl Dodd of Falkirk during a match in December 2006

In his second season at Celtic, Nakamura played his debut Champions League game on 13 September against Manchester United at Old Trafford. He scored from a free kick to bring the game level at 2–2, making him the first Japanese footballer to score a goal in the Champions League,[64][note 2] although Celtic eventually lost 3–2. On 14 October, in a league game against Dundee United at Tannadice, Nakamura scored the first hat-trick of his Celtic career and won the Man of the Match award; the game ended 4–1 in Celtic's favour.[65]

On 21 November, Nakamura scored perhaps the most important goal of his career with a 30-yard free kick against Manchester United at Celtic Park in a crucial Champions League game,[66] leading to Celtic qualifying for the Champions League knockout stage for the first time.[67] Sky Sports pundit and Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier later ranked Nakamura's free kick as among the best five set-piece goals he has ever seen.[42] On 26 December, Nakamura chipped the ball over Dundee United's goalkeeper Derek Stillie at Celtic Park; the goal earned Nakamura the SPL Goal of the Season award.[9] It was Nakamura's performance in the final 20 minutes of the game which allowed Celtic to escape with a point, prompting Gordon Strachan to proclaim him "a genius".[68][69]

On 25 February, during the Scottish Cup quarter-final between Celtic and Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Nakamura broke a bone in his left hand after an Inverness player stepped on it. Nevertheless, Nakamura played in the next game on 3 March against Dunfermline Athletic. Hoops manager Gordon Strachan insisted that Celtic couldn't play the second leg of the Champions League match against A.C. Milan in the San Siro without him.[70] He played in both legs of the fixture, the first of which was a 0–0 draw at Celtic Park, with Milan going on to win the tie 1–0 after extra-time at the San Siro.

On 22 April, Celtic won their 41st league championship, and second in a row. The title was won in dramatic fashion by an injury time free kick from Nakamura in a 2–1 victory against Kilmarnock.[71] The result left Celtic 13 points clear of Rangers with four matches remaining. Quite fittingly, later that day Nakamura was recognised by his peers with the Scottish Player of the Year award.[9] This was followed in May with the SFWA Footballer of the Year award[10] and both Players' Player of the Year award and the Fans' Player of the Year award at Celtic's own end of season awards ceremony.[72]

Due to Nakamura's form, transfer rumours again swirled during the summer window suggesting that Nakamura might exercise a release clause in his contract to join one of Europe's other elite clubs,[73] including Liverpool;[74] however, Nakamura reiterated his desire to remain at Celtic.[citation needed]

2007–08 season[edit]

Nakamura featured little in the first part of Celtic's 2007–08 campaign due to a knee injury which was initially picked up in a Champions League qualifying match against Spartak Moscow in August 2007.[75] Nakamura attempted to play through the injury, including coming on as an 85th-minute substitute in a Champions League group stage match against A.C. Milan and being involved in the buildup to Scott McDonald's injury time winner.[76] However, Nakamura wound up repeatedly aggravating the injury, including in a match against Motherwell on 27 October,[77] after which an MRI revealed nerve damage next to a knee ligament[75] and Nakamura sat out for nearly three months.[78] During this time, Celtic slipped from the top of the table into second place;[79] teammate Artur Boruc called Nakamura's absence the "big difference" in Celtic's drop in form.[78] Nakamura returned to play on 12 January, for Celtic's Scottish Cup match against Stirling Albion, in which he scored a goal.[80]

On 16 April, in a crucial Old Firm league game that Celtic had to win in order to prevent Glasgow rivals Rangers from winning the league title, Nakamura scored his first goal against Rangers,[81] making him the first ever Japanese player to score in an Old Firm game. Typically, it was a fantastic goal, this time being a 30-yard volley. He later had a goal bound effort cleared off the line by a Carlos Cuéllar handball in the same match;[82] although McDonald missed the ensuing penalty, Celtic eventually won the game 2–1.[83] Celtic won the league title on the last day of the season, their third title in a row.[84]

2008–09 season[edit]

On 13 September, Nakamura played his 100th Scottish Premier League match in a 4–2 victory against Motherwell.

On 28 February 2009, he scored a hat trick against St Mirren in a 7–0 win.


Nakamura during his presentation at Espanyol on 21 August 2009

Media assumed that Nakamura would return to his hometown club Yokohama F. Marinos after his four-year contract with Celtic expired at the end of June 2009;[85] however, negotiations broke down over contract terms.[86] On 22 June, Nakamura instead agreed to a two-year contract with La Liga side Espanyol.[87]

Nakamura made his debut with Espanyol in the first league match of the 2009–10 season against Athletic Bilbao,[88] playing the entire game. However, as the season went on Nakamura lost his place in the first team, spending significant time on the bench and with most of his appearances being as a substitute.[12]

By December, Espanyol staff expressed concerns about Nakamura's slow adaptation to Spain and Spanish football, with manager Mauricio Pochettino even suggesting that most of the issues were cultural.[89] Despite assurances from Espanyol as late as January that Nakamura still had a future at the club,[90] Espanyol acknowledged that during the winter transfer window they had accepted a bid from Middlesbrough, who wanted to reunite Nakamura with new manager Gordon Strachan[91] but there were questions about whether Nakamura would accept playing for a club in the second tier.[92] By the following month Espanyol had transfer-listed Nakamura; media reports cited language and communication problems.[93] On 26 February, Marinos agreed to a €1 million transfer fee.[94] Nakamura acknowledged that his return to Marinos was largely due to ensuring playing time so that he would be selected and ready for the 2010 World Cup.[95]

Yokohama F. Marinos[edit]

Nakamura rejoined Yokohama F. Marinos for the 2010 J.League season - 8 years after leaving the club to play in Europe. Nakamura appeared in 32 of Marinos' 34 league games in his first season back at the club, including 31 starts and 5 goals.[12]

In 2011, Nakamura was appointed captain of Marinos[96] and led the club to its best point total (56) since Marinos last won the league in 2004.

During the 2013 season, Nakamura made 33 appearances and scored 10 goals in league play.[12] He also made 10 appearances and scored 2 goals in the 2013 Emperor's Cup, which the Marinos won.[12] His league goal tally included a free kick goal against Oita Trinita on 27 October, Nakamura's 17th direct free kick goal in J1 League, surpassing Yasuhito Endo for the all-time league record.[97][note 3] However, Nakamura was sidelined with injury late in the season and the Marinos lost three of their final four games,[98] finishing one point behind Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the title race. Nakamura described Marinos' collapse as the "worst moment" of his career.[99] Nevertheless, Nakamura was awarded J.League Most Valuable Player for his contributions, becoming the first and only multiple-time winner and, at the time, the oldest recipient of the award.[100][101][note 4]

During the 2016 season, Nakamura became the longest-serving captain in Marinos history, passing Masami Ihara.[96] He also scored free kick goals against Avispa Fukuoka on 5 March[102] and against Gamba Osaka on 2 April, his 21st and 22nd direct free kick goals in J.League, further extending the all-time league record.[103][note 3]

After the end of the 2016 season, J1 League rivals Júbilo Iwata made a multi-year contract offer to Nakamura.[104] This led to media speculation in December that Nakamura was unhappy at Marinos due to interference in both player and staff personnel decisions by City Football Group,[105][106] who had taken a 20% stake in Marinos in 2014.[107] Júbilo Iwata confirmed signing Nakamura on 8 January.[7] Nakamura reiterated his desire to retire with boyhood club Marinos - the only club he had played for in J.League - and expressed disappointment that he never won a league title with Marinos, but cited the ongoing stakeholder interference as creating an atmosphere where "every day there were things I felt were wrong" and he could not "face football properly".[7] Nakamura reportedly accepted an annual wage of ¥80 million from Júbilo Iwata despite a contract extension offer from Marinos worth ¥120 million annually.[108] Marinos general manager Takao Toshishige [ja] publicly expressed regret at the club's failure to re-sign Nakamura, saying "We absolutely cannot allow something like this to happen again."[7] A Marinos official reportedly stated that due to Nakamura's popularity with fans, his departure could result in a one-third drop in Marinos annual revenue.[106]

Júbilo Iwata[edit]

Nakamura joined Júbilo Iwata for the 2017 season.[7] He scored his first goal for Júbilo in a match against Omiya Ardija on 11 March, scoring from a direct free kick to bring his record J.League tally to 23;[109] the goal was later nominated for J.League Goal of the Month for the February–March period.[110] Nakamura followed up the nomination by winning J.League Goal of the Month for April[111] for his 30-yard strike against Kashima Antlers on 22 April.[citation needed] However his opportunity to play decreased in 2018 season. In 2019 season, he played only 2 matches until July.

Yokohama FC[edit]

On 11 July 2019, Nakamura moved to J2 League club Yokohama FC.[112] As he immediately become one of the most experienced figures in the locker room, alongside Kazuyoshi Miura,[113] Nakamura made six appearances in the 2019 season, scoring one goal as Yokohama finished second in the league (behind only title winners Kashiwa Reysol) and went on to win promotion back to the J1 League.

After ten more appearances during the 2020 season, with his team finishing 15th in the table, during the 2021 season Nakamura played twelve more matches (plus one game each in the League Cup and the Emperor's Cup) as Yokohama finished bottom of the league and got relegated. However, on 22 December 2021, the club announced that the midfielder had just extended his contract with them for one more year.[114]


Nakamura announced his official retirement from football on 17 October 2022.

International career[edit]

Youth national teams[edit]

Nakamura playing for Japan against Ghana in September 2009

Nakamura's national team career with Japan started in 1996 as the only high school player selected to the Under-19 team for the Asia Youth Championship. The following year, he was a member of Japan's Under-20 team that finished in the final 8 of the 1997 World Youth Championship.

In 1999, Nakamura was selected a member of Japan's Under-23 team that won all its Asian qualifying matches in the run up to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Nakamura formed a lethal combination in the attacking midfield with Shinji Ono on a team that would form the core of the Japan national team, and included Atsushi Yanagisawa, Junichi Inamoto and Naohiro Takahara. In Sydney, Japan reached the quarterfinal round.

Under Troussier[edit]

Nakamura made his senior national team debut on 13 February 2000, in an Asian Cup qualifier match against Singapore.[13] He scored his first national team goal against Brunei in the very next match on 16 February 2000, also in Asian Cup qualifying.[13]

After playing a key role in Japan's championship at the 2000 Asian Cup,[115] Nakamura appeared to have cemented his place in the national team, having played every match of the tournament. However, his national team career took a sharp turn in a friendly match on 25 March 2001, a humiliating 5–0 loss to France. He did not play for the team led by manager Philippe Troussier again until almost a year later, in a friendly match against Ukraine on 21 March 2002.

Although Nakamura played in four friendly matches leading up to the 2002 World Cup Finals, he was left out of the 23-man squad to the disappointment of fans. In the second to last warm up match for the World Cup against Honduras, he scored two goals, one of them a curling shot made directly from a corner kick.[116] However, he picked up a knee injury against Honduras and did not play in the final warm up match, a 3–0 loss against Norway, and was ultimately not picked for the World Cup squad.[117]

Despite Nakamura's talents, Troussier could not find a place for him in his rigid, defensive-minded system. He believed Nakamura lacked the physique and stamina to play either the center or the left of the midfield, and had a surplus of players at both positions.[118]

Under Zico[edit]

After the World Cup, Troussier resigned as manager of Japan, and was replaced by former Brazil and Kashima Antlers star Zico. The new coach immediately brought the talented player back to the national team, starting Nakamura in his debut against Jamaica.

Zico has lauded Nakamura's improvement since 2002, especially his physical development, stating, "Unquestionably, he has improved a great deal since his move to Serie A. He is the soul of our midfield."[119] Nakamura has flourished under Zico's attacking style and earned his place as the central playmaker. He led Japan to the championship at Asian Cup 2004,[115] where he was named Most Valuable Player, and qualification for the 2006 World Cup Finals.[120] Nakamura also starred for Japan in the 2003 and 2005 Confederations Cup, scoring a total of 4 goals in 5 matches.[13]

Nakamura was suspended for the World Cup qualification match against North Korea on 8 June 2005 that clinched Japan's place in the 2006 Finals,[121] he nonetheless played a key role in the qualifying run and had replaced Hidetoshi Nakata as the main playmaker in Japan's attack during that period.[122]

In the 2006 FIFA World Cup Nakamura scored the controversial opening goal in Japan's first game against Australia, which Australia came back to win 3–1.

After the 2010 World Cup, Nakamura retired from international football.[123]

Style of play[edit]

A versatile playmaker, Nakamura was capable of playing in several midfield positions, including in the centre of the pitch or out wide, although he normally played as an attacking midfielder behind the forwards. A left-footed player, Nakamura was renowned for his long range passing ability as well as his accuray from free kicks, making a name for himself as a set-piece specialist.[124]

Managerial career[edit]

On 18 January 2023, it was announced that Nakamura would become the first team coach of Yokohama FC ahead of the 2023 season.

Personal life[edit]

Nakamura married a former Japanese celebrity[clarification needed] in 2004. That same year, his first son was born. His second son was born on 15 January 2008 in Glasgow, Scotland. According to the Evening Times, he is a fan of the Grand Theft Auto and Gran Turismo video game series. He has appeared on the front cover (some of them with Zico) of the Japanese releases of Konami's Winning Eleven video game series (WE 5, WE 9, WE 9: Ubiquitous Evolution and WE 10) in 2001, 2005 and 2006. He also appeared on the front cover of Namco's Football Kingdom Trial Edition in 2004. He is the paid promoter of the Yamada electronics chain. His current boot sponsor is Adidas.[citation needed] Nakamura has illustrated the precision of his free kicks with novelty performances on television, including knocking ornaments off the top of a wedding cake without affecting the cake itself[125] and striking a ball through the window of a moving bus.[126]

Career statistics[edit]


As of the end 2022 season[127][128][41][129][130]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National cup[a] League cup[b] Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Yokohama F. Marinos 1997 J1 League 27 5 1 0 3 0 31 5
1998 33 9 0 0 4 1 37 10
1999 26 7 3 1 4 0 33 8
2000 30 5 2 0 4 1 2[c] 0 38 6
2001 24 3 1 0 6 2 31 5
2002 8 4 0 0 0 0 8 4
Total 148 33 7 1 21 4 2 0 178 38
Reggina 2002–03 Serie A 31 7 4 1 1[d] 0 36 8
2003–04 16 2 2 0 18 2
2004–05 33 2 0 0 33 2
Total 80 11 6 1 1 0 87 12
Celtic 2005–06 Scottish Premier League 33 6 1 0 4 0 38 6
2006–07 37 9 5 0 0 0 8[e] 2 50 11
2007–08 26 6 4 1 0 0 6[e] 1 36 8
2008–09 32 8 2 0 3 1 5[e] 0 42 9
Total 128 29 12 1 7 1 19 3 166 34
Espanyol 2009–10 La Liga 13 0 2 0 15 0
Yokohama F. Marinos 2010 J1 League 32 5 2 1 1 0 35 6
2011 24 4 5 2 2 0 31 6
2012 31 6 5 2 3 0 39 8
2013 33 10 5 1 10 2 48 13
2014 32 3 0 0 1 0 5[f] 0 1[g] 0 39 3
2015 19 3 2 0 1 0 22 3
2016 19 4 3 1 1 1 23 6
Total 190 35 22 7 19 3 5 0 1 0 237 45
Júbilo Iwata 2017 J1 League 30 5 1 0 0 0 31 5
2018 16 0 0 0 2 0 18 0
2019 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 48 5 1 0 2 0 51 5
Yokohama FC 2019 J2 League 10 1 1 0 11 1
2020 J1 League 10 0 0 0 10 0
2021 12 0 1 0 1 0 14 0
2022 J2 League 6 0 0 0 6 0
Total 38 1 2 0 1 0 41 1
Career total 657 115 50 11 49 8 24 3 4 0 795 136


Appearances and goals by national team and year[13]
National team Year Apps Goals
Japan 2000 16 3
2001 1 0
2002 6 2
2003 8 4
2004 15 3
2005 11 3
2006 6 1
2007 10 4
2008 9 2
2009 11 2
2010 5 0
Total 98 24
Scores and results list Japan's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Nakamura goal.
List of international goals scored by Shunsuke Nakamura[131]
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 16 February 2000 Macau  Brunei 9–0 2000 Asian Cup qualifier
2 11 June 2000 Miyagi, Japan  Slovakia 1–1 Kirin Cup
3 16 August 2000 Hiroshima, Japan  United Arab Emirates 3–1 Friendly
4 2 May 2002 Kobe, Japan  Honduras 3–3 Kirin Cup
7 18 June 2003 Saint-Denis, France  New Zealand 3–0 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup
9 20 June 2003 Saint-Étienne, France  France 1–2 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup
10 9 June 2004 Saitama, Japan  India 7–0 2006 World Cup qualifier
11 20 July 2004 Chongqing, China  Oman 1–0 2004 AFC Asian Cup
12 24 July 2004 Chongqing, China  Thailand 4–1 2004 AFC Asian Cup
13 22 June 2005 Cologne, Germany  Brazil 2–2 2005 Confederations Cup
14 7 September 2005 Miyagi, Japan  Honduras 5–4 Friendly
15 8 October 2005 Riga, Latvia  Latvia 2–2 Friendly
16 12 June 2006 Kaiserslautern, Germany  Australia 1–3 2006 World Cup
17 13 July 2007 Hanoi, Vietnam  United Arab Emirates 3–1 2007 AFC Asian Cup
18 16 July 2007 Hanoi, Vietnam  Vietnam 4–1 2007 AFC Asian Cup
19 11 September 2007 Klagenfurt, Austria   Switzerland 4–3 Friendly
21 2 June 2008 Yokohama, Japan  Oman 3–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
22 2 June 2008 Manama, Bahrain  Bahrain 3–2 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
23 28 March 2009 Saitama, Japan  Bahrain 1–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
24 18 November 2009 Hong Kong  Hong Kong 4–0 2011 Asian Cup qualifier


Yokohama F. Marinos[12]






  1. ^ a b The Marinos would later merge with Yokohama Flügels and take on their current name, Yokohama F. Marinos, in 1999.
  2. ^ a b "UEFA Champions League" referring to the modern era of the competition; Yasuhiko Okudera, who scored for 1. FC Köln against Nottingham Forest in the 1978–79 European Cup semi-final, was the first Japanese player (and first Asian player) to score in the European Cup.
  3. ^ a b Records are for the J1 League, reflecting statistics during the professional era of top-flight Japanese football since its formation in 1992.
  4. ^ In 2016, Kengo Nakamura surpassed Shunsuke Nakamura as oldest J.League MVP recipient.


  1. ^ a b "2006 FIFA World Cup Germany: List of Players: Japan" (PDF). FIFA. 21 March 2014. p. 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Shunsuke Nakamura". Celtic F.C. Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  3. ^ 選手・スタッフ [Players/staff] (in Japanese). Yokohama FC. Retrieved 30 March 2024.
  4. ^ "11/12/2013 Marinos midfielder Nakamura named J. League MVP". Japanese Football Association.
  5. ^ "Shunsuke Nakamura: Japan star player at World Cup 2010". The Telegraph.
  6. ^ a b c Greig 2008, p. 128.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Nakamura leaves Marinos to join Jubilo". The Japan Times. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Ballon d'Or nominees". Sky Sports. 22 October 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Nakamura takes top player award". BBC Sport. BBC. 22 April 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  10. ^ a b c "Nakamura gets top writers' prize". BBC Sport. BBC. 2 May 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Japan - A Team-by-Team Guide to the 2010 World Cup". Time. 2 June 2010.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "Japan - S. Nakamura - Profile with news, career statistics and history". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Nakamura Shunsuke". Japan National Football Team Database.
  14. ^ a b Molinaro, John F. (20 November 2009). "Japan's Nakamura a free kick specialist". CBC Sports. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  15. ^ a b c d 中村 俊輔 | 代表メンバー | 日本代表. (in Japanese). Japan Football Association. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  16. ^ a b Greig 2008, p. 120.
  17. ^ a b c Greig 2008, p. 121.
  18. ^ Greig 2008, p. 120-22.
  19. ^ Greig 2008, p. 122.
  20. ^ Greig 2008, p. 123.
  21. ^ Greig 2008, p. 126.
  22. ^ Greig 2008, p. 127.
  23. ^ "10/05/2010 Information on Japan players'". Japan Football Association. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  24. ^ Shunsuke Nakamura at J.League (archive) (in Japanese) Edit this at Wikidata
  25. ^ J.League
  26. ^ a b c d Greig 2008, p. 130.
  27. ^ a b c d e f "Jリーグ 歴代のMVP・新人王・ベストイレブン・得点ランキング" [J-League history of MVP · Rookie of the Year, Best Eleven Top Scorers]. Ultra Zone (in Japanese). Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  28. ^ a b c Greig 2008, p. 131.
  29. ^ "Nakamura prepares for Madrid move". UEFA. 27 January 2002. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  30. ^ a b c "Nakamura confirms move to Reggina". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  31. ^ Greig 2008, p. 186.
  32. ^ Greig 2008, p. 132.
  33. ^ a b Greig 2008, p. 185.
  34. ^ Greig 2008, p. 185-6.
  35. ^ a b Greig 2008, p. 195.
  36. ^ Greig 2008, p. 187.
  37. ^ "Italy 2002/03". RSSSF. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  38. ^ "Japan at full strength for Cameroon clash". ESPN. 10 November 2003. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  39. ^ Gendelman, David (19 May 2010). "Japan's Hopes Hang on Nakamura". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  40. ^ a b "Real alert on Red Devil Rio". New Straits Times. "EPL Plus" weekly special, p.16. 19 September 2003. Retrieved 5 September 2016.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  41. ^ a b "Shunsuke Nakamura » Club matches". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  42. ^ a b McCarra, Kevin (20 October 2008). "Champions League: Blossoming of Nakamura shows Strachan's canny eye for a cast-off". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  43. ^ "Italy 2004/05". RSSSF. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  44. ^ "Interview: japan's Freekick Specialist Shunsuke Nakamura & Marinos". 20 August 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2016. That year, I was playing for Reggina but the club was always toying around at the relegation zone hence I was feeling a little worried that I was stepping away from world-class football. That situation was not very ideal for me as a footballer as I still hope to be involved at the highest level of football during that time.
  45. ^ "ESPNsoccernet – Europe – Nakamura set for Primera Liga switch". Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2006.
  46. ^ Greig 2008, p. 41.
  47. ^ Carminati, Nadia; Marshall, Adam (October 2003). "Nakamura linked with departure". Sky Sports. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  48. ^ Carminati, Nadia. "Nakamura flattered by Atletico interest". Sky Sports. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  49. ^ a b c d "Nakamura arrival excites Strachan". BBC Sport. 29 July 2005. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  50. ^ Greig 2008, p. 10: Foreword by Gordon Strachan.
  51. ^ Strachan 2006, p. 375.
  52. ^ Strachan 2006, p. 375: "Shunsuke's fee, quoted at £2.5 million, was not even half that."
  53. ^ Greig 2008, p. 211.
  54. ^ a b c Greig 2008, p. 45.
  55. ^ "Motherwell 4–4 Celtic". BBC News. BBC Sport. 30 July 2005. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  56. ^ Greig 2008, p. 46.
  57. ^ "Celtic 2-0 Dundee Utd". BBC News. BBC Sport. 6 August 2005. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  58. ^ "He's the Orient express". The Scotsman. 7 August 2005. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  59. ^ Greig 2008, pp. 46–7.
  60. ^ a b Greig 2008, p. 60.
  61. ^'2005-12-12_1152ss[dead link]
  62. ^ "Scottish Football News – Shunsuke Nakamura". Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  63. ^ "World Cup 2006 – Shunsuke Nakamura: Creative heartbeat". ABC Sport. 24 May 2006. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  64. ^ Vitetta, Stefano (20 April 2015). "Che fine ha fatto Shunsuke Nakamura? Il re del Sol Levante" [What happened to Shunsuke Nakamura? The king of the Rising Sun]. Calcio (in Italian). Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  65. ^ "Nakamura destroys Dundee". RTÉ Sport. 14 October 2006. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  66. ^ Parrish & Nauright 2014, p. 164.
  67. ^ "UPDATE 2-Soccer-Celtic into knockout phase with win over Man Utd".
  68. ^ "It doesn't take a genius to shine at Almondvale". The Scotsman. 6 May 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  69. ^ "Celts claw back Tangerines but face Balde blow". Irish Examiner. 27 December 2006. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  70. ^ "Celts ease past Pars". Archived from the original on 3 March 2007. Retrieved 1 March 2007.
  71. ^ Colin Moffat, Kilmarnock 1–2 Celtic, BBC Sport, 22 April 2007
  72. ^ "Clean sweep for Nakamura". Archived from the original on 5 December 2008.
  73. ^ "Nakamura's Celtic future in doubt". The Irish Times. 26 June 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  74. ^ Whitehall, Ian (28 June 2007). "Liverpool close in on Torres". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  75. ^ a b Greig 2008, p. 226.
  76. ^ Greig 2008, pp. 225–6.
  77. ^ Gordon, Phil (22 November 2007). "Shunsuke Nakamura out of Champions League as knee fails to improve". London: The Times Online. Retrieved 21 January 2008.
  78. ^ a b Greig 2008, p. 227.
  79. ^ Greig 2008, pp. 226–7.
  80. ^ "Celtic 3–0 Stirling Albion". RTÉ Sport. 12 January 2008. Archived from the original on 8 January 2009. Retrieved 21 January 2008.
  81. ^ Greig 2008, pp. 233–4.
  82. ^ Moffat, Colin (16 April 2008). "Celtic 2-1 Rangers". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  83. ^ "Celtic 2-1 Rangers". RTÉ Sport. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  84. ^ Greig 2008, p. 236.
  85. ^ Wilson, Jonathan (18 October 2008). "Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura looks to repeat history against Man United". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  86. ^ "Shunsuke Nakamura to leave Celtic for Espanyol". The Guardian. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  87. ^ "Espanyol seal deal for Nakamura". BBC Sport. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  88. ^ "Nakamura makes low-key debut". The Japan Times. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  89. ^ "Nakamura struggling to adapt at Espanyol: coach". Zee News. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  90. ^ Lomax, Andrew (17 January 2010). "Forgotten man Shunsuke Nakamura stretching Espanyol patience". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  91. ^ "Boro had bid for Charlie Adam turned down". Teesside Gazette. 3 February 2010.
  92. ^ "Boro wait on Nakamura". Sky Sports. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  93. ^ "El Espanyol está a la espera de una oferta por Nakamura" [Espanyol awaits offer for Nakamura]. (in Spanish). Marca. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  94. ^ "Nakamura deja el Espanyol y es traspasado al Yokohama Marinos" [Nakamura leaves Espanyol on transfer to Yokohama Marinos]. (in Spanish). Marca. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  95. ^ "The prodigal son has returned..." 1 March 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  96. ^ a b 横浜MF中村俊輔、井原超えクラブ最長6年目主将 [Midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura to be longest-serving captain at 6 years]. (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  97. ^ "2013 J1 第30節 vs 大分トリニータ 試合レポート" [2013 J1 Matchday 30 Yokohama F. Marinos vs Oita Trinita]. (in Japanese). Yokohama F. Marinos. 27 October 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  98. ^ "J. League player of year Nakamura rules out international return". The Japan Times. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  99. ^ "Football: Nakamura hits rock bottom as Marinos blow title". 7 December 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  100. ^ "Naka lifts J-League MVP Award for second time after 13 years". Celtic F.C. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  101. ^ "Soccer: Kawasaki's Kengo Nakamura named 2016 J-League MVP". The Mainichi. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2017.[permanent dead link]
  102. ^ "【J1】中村俊輔が直接FKで21点目! 自身が持つ"J1直接FKゴール数"を塗り替え、アウェー福岡戦をドローに持ち込む" [Shunsuke Nakamura scores 21st direct free kick goal, drawing Fukuoka away]. (in Japanese). 5 March 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  103. ^ "中村俊輔、マリノスで記録したFK弾22発がコレだ" [Shunsuke Nakamura departs Marinos having scored 22 direct free kick goals]. Qoly (in Japanese). Qoly Football Web Magazine. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  104. ^ "Jubilo make multi-year offer for veteran Nakamura". The Japan Times. 20 November 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  105. ^ "Marinos' Nakamura in negotiations with Iwata". The Japan Times. 30 December 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  106. ^ a b 横浜マリノス中村俊輔退団へ 磐田移籍で経営影響も. (in Japanese). Kanagawa Shimbun. 30 December 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  107. ^ "Manchester City reveals plan to invest in Yokohama F. Marinos". The Japan Times. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  108. ^ Brady, Ross (7 January 2017). "俊輔、体制変更でショック「鬱になる」 移籍決断で横浜Mは斎藤ら主力も退団の可能性".
  109. ^ "中村俊輔が磐田移籍後初ゴール!鮮やかFKでJ1通算記録を「23」に更新" [Shunsuke Nakamura scores first goal after moving to Iwata! J1 League record now 23 with FK goal]. (in Japanese). Yahoo! Japan. 11 March 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  110. ^ "成績・データ:Jリーグ.jp 2017年 2 ‧ 3月" [Results / data: J League February–March 2017]. (in Japanese). J.League. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  111. ^ "成績・データ:Jリーグ.jp 2017年 4月" [Results / data: J League April 2017]. (in Japanese). J.League. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  112. ^ Yokohama FC(in Japanese)
  113. ^ "Kazuyoshi Miura signs contract to play past 54th birthday in Japan". The Guardian. 11 January 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  114. ^ "中村 俊輔選手 契約更新のお知らせ". 横浜FCオフィシャルウェブサイト (in Japanese). Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  115. ^ a b c Parrish & Nauright 2014, p. 164-5.
  116. ^ "Santos lifts Japan to 3–3 draw with Honduras". CNN. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  117. ^ "ESPN FC". Archived from the original on 14 November 2006. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)
  118. ^ "FC JAPAN".
  119. ^ ESPNsoccernet – Europe – Celtic chase signing of Nakamura
  120. ^ "Nakamura, the angel with a sharp blade". FIFA. 4 October 2005. Archived from the original on 13 October 2005. Retrieved 13 October 2005.
  121. ^ "Japan celebrate qualification for Germany 2006". Archived from the original on 9 June 2005.
  122. ^ "Asian eyes turn to Europe". Archived from the original on 1 October 2005.
  123. ^ "Nakamura retires from internationals". ESPN. 2 July 2010. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  124. ^ Molinaro, John (20 November 2009). "Japan's Nakamura a free kick specialist". CBC Sports. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  125. ^ "Video: Former Celtic star Shunsuke Nakamura arcs a free-kick to hit the top of a wedding cake". Irish Independent. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  126. ^ Parrish & Nauright 2014, p. 165.
  127. ^ Nippon Sports Kikaku Publishing inc./日本スポーツ企画出版社, "J1&J2&J3選手名鑑ハンディ版 2019 (NSK MOOK)", 9 February 2019, Japan, ISBN 978-4905411628 (p. 129 out of 289)
  128. ^ Nippon Sports Kikaku Publishing inc./日本スポーツ企画出版社, "J1&J2&J3選手名鑑ハンディ版 2018 (NSK MOOK)", 7 February 2018, Japan, ISBN 978-4905411529 (p. 49 out of 289)
  129. ^ "2016 中村俊輔選手試合データ". Yokohama F. Marinos official website (in Japanese). Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  130. ^ "Profile Shinsuke Nakamura". J.League Data Site (in Japanese). Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  131. ^ Shunsuke Nakamura - International Appearances Archived 15 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  132. ^ "Shunsuke Nakamura to join Yokohama FC as coach". The Japanese Times. 25 November 2022. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  133. ^ "FIFA Confederations Cup official awards". Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Paris. 29 June 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 July 2003. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  134. ^ "Yasuhito Endo named J-League 30-year MVP, Kazuyoshi Miura, Shunsuke Nakamura in best XI". Mainichi Shimbun. Retrieved 18 May 2023.
  135. ^ a b "[ PROFILE ] -中村俊輔オフィシャルウェブサイト-". (in Japanese). Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  136. ^ "#AsianCup2023 five-month countdown: Fan-voted all-time AFC Asian Cup Dream XI revealed". Asian Football Confederation. 12 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  137. ^ "Nakamura wins third award". Eurosport. 18 May 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  138. ^ "Clean sweep for Nakamura". Archived from the original on 5 December 2008.
  139. ^ "SPFA's team of the 2006/07 season". BBC Sport. BBC. 23 April 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2013.


  • Greig, Martin (2008). The Zen of Naka. Mainstream Publishing Company (Edinburgh) Ltd. ISBN 9781845963576.
  • Strachan, Gordon (2006). Strachan: My Life in Football. London: Time Warner Books. ISBN 9780751537482.
  • Parrish, Charles; Nauright, John (2014). Soccer around the World: A Cultural Guide to the World's Favorite Sport. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781610693028.

External links[edit]