SINGAPORE - Former Japan captain
Hidetoshi Nakata has downplayed his efforts to raise funds for
disaster relief in Japan, saying he just wanted to do "something
good" for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Twice Asian Footballer of the Year Nakata, who enjoyed an
illustrious career that included seven seasons in Italy's Serie
A, will play in a charity game in Singapore on Saturday between
Albirex Nigiita and an S.League All-Star side.
"I'm not (the one) helping the people," Nakata, who retired
from the game in 2006, told reporters during a training break on
Friday. "I'm just trying to connect people to do something good,
and I'm enjoying that.
"Some of our best locations, they're gone (because of the
earthquake). So I have to do something for my own country, as
soon as possible."
Nakata raised more than $300,000 in Taiwan last week after
auctioning a pair of boots and two jerseys.
Last year a pair of his boots that he wore against Croatia
at the 2006 World Cup in Germany raised almost $1.5 million for
Haiti's earthquake disaster relief.
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