Given name: 雅史Family name: 中山
Birthday: Sep 23, 1967Website:
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Masashi Nakayama is a former professional footballer. Born in Shizuoka, Gon Nakayama attended Fujieda Higashi High School and Tsukuba University before he joined Jubilo Iwata of the Japan Football League, a precursor to the J. League, which consisted of company sponsored teams. He retired in December 2012 at age 45 after playing 3 seasons for Consadole Sapporo.
Playing as a Forward, Nakayama made his J. League debut on 11 March 1994. From then until 2009, he was an ever-present part of the Jubilo lineup as they were consistently one of the top teams in the J. League since its inception. With a strike-rate of more than a goal every two games throughout his career, Nakayama was the inspirational and talismanic leader for both Jubilo Iwata and the Japanese national team.
At the 1998 FIFA World Cup finals in France, Nakayama scored the only goal of the tournament and the first goal for Japan in the history of the World Cup against Jamaica on 26 June 1998. As of 2009, he has scored 21 goals in 53 appearances for the Japanese national team, which places him 8th all-time among goalscorers for his country.
Nakayama also holds the world record fastest hat-trick at international level. He managed three goals in an AFC Asian Cup qualification match against Brunei on 16 February 2000 in only three minutes and three seconds, beating the previous record of Englishman George William Hall set in 1938 (against Ireland) by 27 seconds. This striker becomes a record-holder with other hat-tricks, that he did it in four successive games of J.League, from 15 to 29 April in 1998. He scored 16 times in these games. The record is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Affectionately known as Gon, Nakayama is a fan favorite among many casual Japanese football fans for his outspoken and humorous nature. Now in the twilight of his career, injuries and age have taken a toll on Nakayama's skills but he still remains a favorite of the Jubilo faithful, as evidenced by the fact that he draws the loudest cheers by far from the home crowd at Yamaha Stadium when his name is announced during warm-ups or when he comes on as a substitute.
On 4 December 2012, he announced his retirement at the age of 45, citing injuries to his both knees, after making J. League's all-time leading scores of 157 goals.
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