Nakata happy to play part for quake relief

SINGAPORE - Former Japan captain Hidetoshi Nakata has downplayed his efforts to raise funds for disaster relief in Japan, saying he just wanted to do "something good" for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Twice Asian Footballer of the Year Nakata, who enjoyed an illustrious career that included seven seasons in Italy's Serie A, will play in a charity game in Singapore on Saturday between Albirex Nigiita and an S.League All-Star side.

"I'm not (the one) helping the people," Nakata, who retired from the game in 2006, told reporters during a training break on Friday. "I'm just trying to connect people to do something good, and I'm enjoying that.

"Some of our best locations, they're gone (because of the earthquake). So I have to do something for my own country, as soon as possible."

Nakata raised more than $300,000 in Taiwan last week after auctioning a pair of boots and two jerseys.

Last year a pair of his boots that he wore against Croatia at the 2006 World Cup in Germany raised almost $1.5 million for Haiti's earthquake disaster relief.