Exclusive: "Language doesn't matter"; Celtic favourite Scott McDonald on front three

By Euan Davidson

November 9, 2021

Scott McDonald has told 67 Hail Hail that language isn’t an issue between Celtic forwards Kyogo, Liel Abada and Jota.

None of the three have a shared language, but they’ve combined to devastating effect for Celtic. Signed from disparate parts of the globe, none of the three have ever met in competition, let alone played together.

Yet, the trio are clicking. And you have to wonder what that’s like for the forwards, especially with such difficulties in communication.

However, our pal Scott McDonald, in conversation with 67 Hail Hail’s Hamish Carton and David Walton, explained that when you’re forwards, it’s about training and instinct.

McDonald said [67 Hail Hail]:

“Language doesn’t matter. Nakamura never spoke a word to you, you just knew what he was going to do with it. You gamble, because you knew he had that quality just to put it on your head or at your feet. You’d always believe that he was going to get there.

“Me and Jan [Venegoor of Hesselink] had a great telepathic reading of each other, I knew where he was going to flick it.

“We are genuinely witnessing a really special Celtic front three” | Scott McDonald on 67 Hail Hail

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“We are genuinely witnessing a really special Celtic front three” | Scott McDonald on 67 Hail Hail
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“You’d also gamble, and you’d get confidence because you’re playing with top level players. You know they can do those quality things. So as a centre-forward, particularly, you’re always going to gamble, and believe more that you’re going to get on the end of something.

“There’s a trust element. These players are now trusting in each other, trusting each other’s qualities. There’s selflessness within the partnerships because of the relationships they’re building. That’s everything, that’s when you see a team forming, and quality coming, because of the belief and trust.

“You talk about languages and whatnot. It doesn’t matter when you’re playing good football, and the way you’re training.”

Very interesting comments from former Celtic man Scott McDonald on the new Three Amigos

You might be like me and wondered how all that worked. Perhaps you, yourself, have moved to a new country and have had challenges adapting. Or, you work somewhere with colleagues of different nationalities.

Forging relationships can be tricky, especially when there’s 60,000 people watching how you do. It’s always been a mystery – to me at least – how players build communication without being able to speak the same language.

Turns out it doesn’t matter. Admittedly, Jota is keen to learn Japanese if it helps his understanding with Kyogo [STV].

Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

All three, though, seem to know exactly where the other will be. And it’s paying off for Celtic, who are entertaining and getting on-field results.

There were so, so many questions about how our recruitment would be this summer. Whether players would have time to gel, if there was requisite time for Ange Postecoglou to make his ideology and instructions clear.

We ought not to have worried, in hindsight. The club have recruited excellently. And, as it turns out, language barriers haven’t mattered one iota.

Read more: How much Carter-Vickers and Jota will likely cost Celtic combined this summer