His temamate Takefusa Kubo is fondly called ‘Japanese Messi’ for his dazzling skills but team’s leading goalscorer Kieto Nakamura would like to compare himself with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Asked about whether his style is more like Ronaldo or Messi Nakamura said:”Maybe my style is more similar to Cristiano Ronaldo. I like how he dribbles with the ball and how he fires off those right footed shots,” Nakamura said ahead of his team’s pre quarter-final game against England.
Nakamura has scored four of the seven goals by Japan but they have been winless from the last two matches but only to make to the last-16 of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup for a fourth time.
In their last outing, they were held 1-1 by debutants New Caledonia, in a performance that threw more questions than answers.
Unhappy with their show, Nakamura urged the team to be aggressive against a rampaging England in the pre-quarterfinal in Kolkata on Tuesday.
“When you look at the results, I am unhappy with Japan’s performances so far. We want to and we have to be more aggressive and proactive,” Nakamura said in Kolkata on Monday.
Their round of 16 opponents England on the other hand notched up three wins pumping in 11 goals, conceding just two to make them one of the favourites for the trophy.
But Nakamura did not have any doubt that they would bounce back strongly to oust England and win the title in Kolkata.
“Japan, obviously Japan! Without a shadow of a doubt… Winning the title in Kolkata was the aim we started off with two-and-a-half years ago. The team and I have been working towards this for a long time. It’s the only thing we talk about, the only thing we’re striving towards.”
He may have been the leading Japanese goal scorer but Nakamura said winning Golden Ball is more satisfying than a Golden Boot.
“Golden Ball as the best player in the tournament. I want to contribute to the success of the team in every aspect and not just score goals,” he said.
He further said he aspires to play in Europe.
“A lot of Japanese internationals play there. That’s my aim too.”
Nakamura said he is more of a wing player and loves to shoot rather than dribbling.
“I can attack and create chances but also score goals myself, so I like to play on the wing…”
Asked whether he likes to shoot or dribble, he said: “That’s a tough call. I’d have to say — shoot. Because that way I have a chance of scoring a goal.”
On his favourite food, he said: “My favourite is actually sashimi (raw fish).”