Big from Japan
From Costa Rica, England, Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, they have come from the far corners of the globe. FIFA.com spoke to players and coaches from all six teams competing at the FIFA Club World Championship to get their impressions of the host nation. We asked which Japanese person they admired most…
Djibril Cisse (Liverpool forward, French)
Nakata. He is a great player and has done a lot to make Japanese football famous
Dwight Yorke (Sydney forward, Tobagan)
Kazu, of course. He has been brilliant for us since he came to Sydney FC
Cicinho (Sao Paulo defender, Brazilian)
I like to watch Ultimate Fighting and admire fighter Sakuraba.
Jamie Carragher (Liverpool defender, English)
Shunsuke Nakamura - he's doing really well for Japan and Celtic at the moment.
Christian Bolanos (Deportivo Saprissa midfielder, Costa Rican)
That's a difficult question. As I said before, I like the culture in general.
Essam El Hadary (Ahly goalkeeper, Egyptian)
An actress that used to appear on Egyptian TV in a Japanese soap show but I do not remember her name.
Pierre Littbarski (Sydney coach, German)
Prime Minister (Junichiro) Koizumi.
Didi Hamann (Liverpool midfielder, German)
As a professional footballer, I would have to say Hidetoshi Nakata, who is now playing for Bolton Wanderers. Asian football is very underrated, despite Korea Republic finishing fourth at the last World Cup. Japan could well emulate their achievements in Germany…
Lugano (Sao Paulo defender, Uruguayan)
Not so much a person, but their samurai culture, the sense of honour.
Hamad Montashari (Al Ittihad defender, Saudi Arabian)
No-one in particular but I'd really like to meet the people who design car assembly plants.
Steve Corica (Sydney midfielder, Australian)
Sami Hyypia (Liverpool defender, Finnish)
Well, I would have to say Nakata. He's a great player and I'm looking forward to facing him later in the season.
Junior (Sao Paulo defender, Brazilian)
Nakata. I played with him in Europe and we exchanged some words in Portuguese. He's a very determined person, hard-working and loyal.