Through April, SI.com will profile two World Cup teams a week and are currently focusing on Japan.
Japan’s most recognizable player is Shunsuke Nakamura, the talismanic midfielder who scored 29 goals during a five-year stint with Celtic from 2005-09. A holdover from the 2002 and ’06 World Cup teams, Nakamura is one of the side’s most experienced players — but the 31-year-old is fighting the perception of a superstar on the wane. Despite that, the deadly free-kick taker provides important creative influence on the right flank.
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Read More of this profile: 2010 World Cup profile: Japan