Rocco Vata, son of Celtic cult hero Rudi, signs professional terms with the Bhoys

By Euan Davidson

July 8, 2021

Rocco Vata, son of former Celtic man Rudi Vata, has signed professional terms with the Bhoys.

Rocco’s mother shared pictures of the youngster signing terms at Celtic Park. Naturally, he was also snapped holding the shirt, and posing at the Parkhead tunnel, as is tradition.

Vata Jr, who is eligible for Ireland, Albania and Scotland, turned heads with a substitute appearance at youth level earlier in 2021. A squad featuring promising centre-back Dane Murray saw off Aberdeen, with Vata on the bench.

And now, like his father did in 1992, Vata has signed on the dotted line at Celtic Park.

Vata Sr, the first Albanian to play in the UK [Celtic Wiki], left a significant mark on his home country. Current Albanian President Ilir Meta is fan [Sky Sports]. Alongside Vata, the President launched a Celtic Supporters’ Club in Tirana.

Whether Rocco can have a similar cultural impact is yet to be seen. For now, though, he’ll absolutely delighted to follow in his famous father’s footsteps.

Rudi Vata was a cult hero at Celtic, now it’s up to Rocco

Nobody is expecting Rocco Vata to immediately pick up where his Dad left off. They’re different kinds of players, for one thing.

Vata, described as a “cavalier right-back”, played 55 times for the Bhoys [Celtic Wiki]. He also made 59 appearances for Albania, between 1990 and 2001. That’s remarkable longevity.

Rocco, as we understand it, is a central midfielder. So that’s quite a drastic difference from his father. And, although there are examples of dynasties across Celtic history, including the McNamaras and the McStays, there won’t be huge pressure on young Vata.

For now, it’s about improvement and making a name in his own right. If we never have to call him “Vata Jr” again, we know he’ll have made a significant impact in the Green and White.

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