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Daniel Matsunaga: From the land of …

By Ruel Mendoza

Daniel Matsunaga

Daniel Matsunaga

Before becoming a model and an actor, Brazilian-Japanese Daniel Matsunaga was first a football player back in his hometown in Brasilia, Brazil, which produced the greatest ever, Pelé.

His love for the sport began at five and he has been playing for various teams there before he came to the Philippines and instantly became a TV and film heartthrob.

But showbiz did not stop this 28-year old from playing football.

“I decided to play here (in the UFL) to maintain my body fitness.

“I love to maintain a healthy lifestyle and I love sports and this is the main sport for me.

“Luckily, football in the Philippines is getting famous and luckily I’m in the first division,” says Daniel.

Matsunaga tried out for other teams and ended up with the reigning UFL Cup champions.

“They invited me to play for the team and luckily I was well received by the coach.”

Daniel is just one of three celebrity newcomers in the Stallions. The other two are Brazilian-Japanese model-actor Fabio Ide and Fil-American model Andrew Wolff.

Recently, Matsunaga played for Neymar’s Jr. Five in Manila where his team, Naxional, won and they will soon fly off to Brazil for the world finals.

“The way Neymar Jr’s Five works is that teams of five are pitted against each other in head-to-head, 10-minute matches.

“Every time one team scores, the opposing team loses a player.

“It’s like football but with a twist – fast, technical, and tactical,” Daniel says.

On days that Daniel can’t play football because of his hectic sked in showbiz, he does crossfit training and eats healthy.

“I do crossfit very often now. You can see my hands are full of kalyo.

“Crossfit kasi is all circuit training. There are days you do pull ups, pushups, and running.

“Other days you do rowing, bicycle, lunges, and hatchets.

“It’s pretty tough because being an artista, you’re always puyat. You always work on TV and you really need to eat something to get energy.

“But as much as possible, I eat healthy food. I have my own business called The Healthy House.

“I always have that, especially when I’m on a diet. I use my business for my own good.”

Daniel will also open his Matsunaga Football Academy very soon.

“It’s a school for kids that offers a course in football.

“Instead of playing electronic gadgets, they can have fun while running, doing an exercise.

“I’ve been playing football since I was a kid. Since it’s growing really big here, I want to share my passion.”

Daniel is presently being watched in the show “I Can Do That on ABS-CBN 2”.