Dedryck Boyata turned down La Liga, Moyes, to come to Celtic

By Euan Davidson

April 10, 2021

Dedryck Boyata has spoke about joining Celtic in 2015.

The former Manchester City defender, who starred at the 2018 World Cup with Belgium, has made headlines for his comments on the ‘Kickback with Nedum‘ podcast with Nedum Onuoah. Both ex-Citizens, the two shared plenty of anecdotes about Man City and moving on from the club.

Last night, we shared how Boyata left the club under a cloud. Brendan Rodgers and Chris Sutton were instrumental in the affable Belgian seeking pastures new. According to the Hertha Berlin star, in any case.

Interestingly, though, the centre-back also revealed the environment Boyata joined under Ronny Deila. Speaking about his choices prior to wearing the Hoops, Boyata said [Kickback with Nedum]:

“I had the chance to move to Spain, with David Moyes, when he was at [Real] Sociedad. But I felt really like a British guy. And then I ended up going to Celtic.

“Coming there, I just thought “I’m gonna come here, play my games, and then whenever I have the opportunity I’m gonna go”. This was my biggest mistake, because from the first minute, the first games you play there, you’re like “what is going on here?”

“The pressure, winning games – it’s not about playing week-in week-out, it’s about winning week-in week-out.

“You have to be good, also. This is the thing. Honestly, thinking about it right now, that was one of the best experiences that I had. [The] kind of environment, it makes you stronger. What they do is really coming through the heart.

“This is their life, their religion.”

Dedryck Boyata in 2018 / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

At least Dedryck Boyata was honest about joining Celtic

As big as Celtic are, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that not everyone understands the intensity of Glasgow. Leaving aside the historical and political factors for a moment, the pressure is overwhelming. We expect the best from Celtic players, because of what we put into the club, as supporters.

We also have a tremendous, unbroken history, filled with incredible players. So, yes, Celtic are a rare club where a draw is a disaster. Players sink or swim, and it took Boyata time to adapt.

He did eventually find his feet, though, winning trebles with Celtic before his relationship with Brendan Rodgers broke down. Ultimately, he left the club on a free transfer, which still rankles. Obviously a talented centre-back, who served us with distinction on several occasions, to have lost him for nothing is a sore spot.

Dedryck Boyata talks with honesty, and in a world of media training and identikit footballing personalities, that’s refreshing. The re-emergence of podcasts as a viable medium has been a massive relief, and we’re finally hearing actual stories. The likes of Peter Crouch, Si Ferry and others can take a measure of credit for that. And, as it turns out, so can ex-Man City defender Nedum Onuoah.

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