Young Celtic talent Rocco Vata scores for Ireland again

By John McGinley

February 12, 2022

Celtic teenager Rocco Vata continued his fine season for club and country with a goal for the Republic of Ireland U17s side today, against Belgium.

The young Irish group are on a trip to Marbella, Spain for a training camp and friendlies against the talented Belgians, who boast some of the best emerging talents in world football.

It’s all in preparation for tough qualifiers next month against Portugal, Finland and Bulgaria.

The Irish U17s played against Belgium on Thursday, drawing 2-2, but faced them again this afternoon and came out on top as 1-0 winners. That was thanks to a late Rocco Vata goal, who came off the bench having started the behind-closed-doors match two days ago.

Vata has been dealing with illness problems of late but seems to be back to his best and intent on capturing the headlines again.

He’s been scoring regularly for Celtic B and Ireland this term, capturing the imagination of fans with some stunning goals.

Clearly, Vata remains involved with the U17s side but has also earned promotions to the Irish U18s side too, for a similar training camp back in November.

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Son of 1990s cult hero Rudi, Rocco is well regarded within the Celtic set-up at Lennoxtown.

Just this week Celtic B coach Darren O’Dea talked up his ability and potential, telling Football Scotland: “The most impressive thing about him is probably his mentality, his attitude to the game. We had a pre-season friendly this year that didn’t go particularly well but he’s someone that has a killer attitude that never stops, he has a fantastic ability to beat people and create chances.

“On top of that he’s someone who has a really strong mind so he’s someone who’s very young and needs to be managed well. But he’s going in the right direction, it’s a case of supporting him. I’m confident to say that if he reaches his full potential which is our goal as a staff to do that, that potential could take him to the top, to be fair.”

Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images

It’ll be great to see him return to Tommy McIntyre’s group and continue his upward trajectory.

Given Ben Doak’s introduction to the senior squad in recent weeks, who’s to say we won’t even see Vata make his debut at some point before the end of the season?

In other news, Former Celtic defender Cristian Gamboa scores absolute stunner vs Bayern Munich.