Monday, May 12, 2008

Shunsuke Nakamura

He gracefully glides his lean frame into the flight path of the ball, and waits calmly as it comes to sleep in his vacuum chest. He springs nimbly to one side, and the ball reverse-soars slowly to the turf. Then, he threads a delicate pass through an undergrowth of legs to his confounded teammate.

The myth about Asian players is that they are bloody boring. They blight the beautiful game with a sterile, scientific style of speed, space and rectilinear ranging. They’re as blind as bats to the skilled art of fraudulent feints, sweetly curled lobs and lofts, stupefying stepovers and the haunting, humiliating chip.

Nakamura has reached the summit of the two hundred and eighty four Munros of Scottish football. He had one dream season deliciously filled with flawless free kicks, unbelievable ghost passes and gorgeous goals in thick-coming fancies.

Aiden McGeady is surrounded by three defenders. He swiftly backheels to Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink who is cruelly scythed to the ground. Nakamura floats on the scene. He casually casts the ball onto the pitch, and saunters three steps backwards. He takes no pernickety aim. With neither showy twist nor frilly turn, he shunts forward and lightly strikes the ball. It’s slow, it turns some speed, it flies, floats and dips into the net agape. Goalkeeper amazed! :-)


  1. Anonymous12 May, 2008

    Is this the beginning of more diverse topics? That's great, though I kind of liked the focus on Accra too.

  2. Thanks. I really don't know, I write them as they come. I saw Nakamura wow me with his every move yesterday and thought I should write something against the silly stereotype. From Asia we got Nakata, Ali Jaei and Ji Sung Park.

  3. for a minute i forgot about how physical football could get and i could actually see the beauty of it, like very very graceful ballet

  4. The Beautiful Game, Bentuma, the Beautiful Game!

  5. The beautiful game...

    and you play it so well with words...

    beautiful Nakamura!

    by the way...let me sing or scream the name of one unsung hero though...Carvalho of chelsea from the portugal...

    for me his frail looking frame hardly passes him for a defender of the 'game' but just watch him play...he makes it all look so simple...and beautiful...

  6. Maybe we should write an ode to Carvalho. Thing is if Chelsea beat Man U next week, I couldn't bring bring myself to do anything other than hate all Chelsea players. Then, Carvalho would have to find a Chelski poet or a portuguese to write his ode :-) thanks for the comment. I enjoyed reading it.

  7. Just bcos Avram Grant is in charge, i can look the other way and let Chelsea loose...

    That man just dey bore me!


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