Celtic favourite Shunsuke Nakamura extends remarkable career

By Euan Davidson

December 22, 2021

Former Celtic midfielder and free-kick expert Shunsuke Nakamura has signed another new deal with Yokohama FC, at the age of 43.

His side, not to be confused with Yokohama F Marinos, were relegated from the J League in the season just finished. However, Shunsuke Nakamura will stick around for the fight back, with Yokohama FC announcing a new one-year deal for the midfielder [Yokohama FC].

The ex-Japan international has been at Yokohama FC since 2019, after spells Yokohama F Marinos and Jubilo Iwata. He returned to his homeland in 2010, following a stint with La Liga side Espanyol.

Photo by Hiroki Watanabe/Getty Images

Nakamura is fondly remembered on these shores for his vital interventions in crucial matches. His belter against Rangers, free-kick heroics against Kilmarnock and Manchester United, and his unbelievable technique made him a favourite.

His impact at Celtic was enormous. Truly, it was something we hadn’t seen until Kyogo arrived at Parkhead. And just like the influence of Shunsuke Nakamura leading to Celtic mining the J League for Koki Mizuno, the popularity of Kyogo may see two or more Japanese players coming to the club.

Remarkably, he wasn’t even the oldest player at Yokohama FC last season. Kazuyoshi Miura turned 54 this year. There must be something in the water in Yokohama!

Hibernian 1-2 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Hibernian 1-2 Celtic | LIVE Reaction
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

If Celtic hero Shunsuke Nakamura feels no need to retire, then why do it?

It’s genuinely interesting to see how long Shunsuke Nakamura will play for. If he continues to delight Yokohama FC supporters, then why retire?

It’s not as if he’s being relied upon, either. Like Miura, Nakamura has something of a bit-part role. He played 14 games in total during the 2021 season [Transfermarkt]. His last 30-game season was in 2017, when at 39, he scored 5 and set up 9 for Jubilo Iwata [Transfermarkt].

At Celtic, he scored 31 goals and assisted 36 in 145 outings. A phenomenal signing by Gordon Strachan, Shunsuke Nakamura provided a touch of outrageous class when it was needed.

Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

A legend with a dead ball, Nakamura is still remembered so fondly in Glasgow. If that goal against Manchester United was all he was remembered for [BT Sport], he would still be a favourite. However, there were plenty of iconic moments for the Japan legend in Glasgow.

We wish Nakamura well. With Celtic’s recaptured popularity in Japan, it’d be great to see Celtic take on Yokohama FC in a friendly at some stage. It doesn’t even need to be that soon, because the man from Japan is going nowhere fast.

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