Celtic star says he didn't have to research club before joining; explains Nakamura influence

By Euan Davidson

January 22, 2022

New Celtic star Reo Hatate didn’t have to do much research on the club, due to its size and the influence of Shunsuke Nakamura, the midfielder has said.

As we covered yesterday, Hatate was asked questions by the Celtic supporters on a range of different issues. Later in the Q+A, he described the size of Celtic internationally, and made reference to former midfield icon Shunsuke Nakamura.

Nakamura was, of course, a superstar for Celtic in the 00s. His public profile in Japan meant Celtic won a raft of new supporters. The influence of Ange Postecoglou, as well as Kyogo Furuhashi this season, has reignited that spark between Japan and Celtic Football Club.

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

As such, Hatate didn’t need much convincing or prior research before he committed to Celtic. He said on Celtic’s official Twitter page [Celtic FC]: “I didn’t have to research the club a lot.

“I knew the club since I was a kid because Shunsuke Nakamura was playing here and Celtic are a big club in the world.”

Hatate also fielded questions on Duran Duran and eels, but it’s his answer here that’s most significant. Hatate, who shone against Hibernian on Monday night, will get chances to do so again as the Premiership throws up huge fixtures. Dundee United, Hearts and Rangers all await, though we may see him later today against Alloa Athletic.

Jota and Rogic net awards as O’Riley impresses in early interview | Alloa vs Celtic Preview

Jota and Rogic net awards as O’Riley impresses in early interview | Alloa vs Celtic Preview
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Answers from Celtic stars like Jota, Reo Hatate et al are a reminder of how massive this club is; Nakamura helped, too

Perhaps we don’t fully realise how big a deal Celtic are. It was funny when Jota revealed he had a Celtic scarf from a Benfica game [Record], but there’s a consistency to comments made from new signings.

And it seems earnest, too. Although Celtic supporters are more than used to how big a deal the club is on a more local level, the international reach is significant.

When you see Western Australian Celtic supporters going tonto on a boat, for example. Or Kyogo popping up in a Celtic jersey on Tokyo’s subway system. These things serve as reminders of just how big this football club is. So, in a sense, we shouldn’t really be surprised.

Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

It does, though, show the impact certain Celtic players can have. Because of Shunsuke Nakamura and his stardom in Japan, a generation of football fans in the Far East would’ve harboured ambitions to play for Celtic, just like he did.

In terms of Hatate, the guy comes across really well. He’s smart, personable and enjoys some interesting pursuits outside of football, as his Q+A showed.

But this might’ve been his most significant answer. Even thousands and thousands of miles away, footballers want to play for Celtic Football Club.

Read more: Celtic supporters show relief at USA’s Cameron Carter-Vickers decision