Daizen Maeda explains why he didn't perform Celtic goal celebration for Japan

By David Walton

June 12, 2022

Celtic attacker Daizen Maeda has stated that he didn’t perform his trademark goal celebration for Japan as he hadn’t been satisfied with his performance levels against Paraguay.

Maeda managed to net a first-ever goal for his national team in the 4-1 win over Ghana on Friday. It was a big moment for the Celtic forward who had been reinstated into Hajime Moryasu’s squad for the June camp. It also came after a win against Paraguay in which the player missed some big opportunities.

Over the course of the second half of the season, Celtic fans have gotten to know Maeda’s touching celebration. Daizen does it as a tribute to his daughter and as a symbol of the Anpanman – a Japanese cartoon character.

Photo by Pablo Morano/MB Media/Getty Images

However, he decided against it despite a massive landmark in his career last week.. And speaking to Japanese media, he’s explained why that was the case.

As quoted by Hochi, Daizen said: “I wanted to make up for the first game [against Paraguay]. Of course I wanted to perform, but I felt I was not in that situation. I wanted the fans to see me score a goal first.

“I have only scored one goal. I still haven’t put in a good performance. If I get a chance, I want to aim for it.”

Daizen Maeda looking to build on first ever international goal

You have to appreciate this from Daizen. So many of the top talents in the world believe themselves to have performed well so long as they score. Especially forward players, with so many obnoxious celebrations following poor individual performances.

There’s a humbleness to Maeda that’s shining through here. Nobody would’ve batted an eyelid if he’d performed his goal celebration. It was a huge moment for him and something he’s no doubt dreamed about since he was young.

Yet, he didn’t feel as though he was delivering for his country here. Just that he was paying back a debt he believed he owed from the Paraguay match. You have to love that kind of attitude from Celtic players.

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

The likes of Maeda, Kyogo, and Reo Hatate aren’t admired by the Celtic support because they’re Japanese. A large part of it is the way in which they conduct themselves. The humility and class they show both on and off the park. This was another example.

Next up for Daizen and Kyogo is the Kirin Cup final against Tunisia on Tuesday morning. Hopefully, one or both of the Celtic forwards can make themselves a hero.

It would certainly help morale heading into pre-season.

In other news, Video: Celtic deliver class backstage kit launch clip