5 facts about Portuguese star and Celtic winger Filipe Jota

By Euan Davidson

September 1, 2021

You could have been forgiven for seeing speculation around Celtic signing the Portuguese winger Filipe Jota emerging last week and wondering “who’s that?”.

After all, it’s not as if the Benfica youngster has blazed the heather in the way that was expected of him. However, at just 22, he’s had a more interesting and varied career than some in their retirement.

An electric, quick-minded wing talent, Jota is something of a coup for Celtic. Yes, he’s flown under the radar a little, with the Bhoys concluding a multitude of deals. Turnover at Paradise this summer was unusually busy, with a new CEO and manager coming in, too.

All that said, you wouldn’t be the only one wondering what Jota’s story is. Or, you want to be more in the know than your pals about the new Celtic attacker.

Here are five facts about Filipe Jota you might not have known.

1. His name isn’t really Filipe Jota. Give us a second, we’ll explain

So, yes, he goes by Filipe Jota. But that’s not really his name.

Celtic land Giakoumakis and Jota as Edouard leaves | LIVE Deadline Day Special

Celtic land Giakoumakis and Jota as Edouard leaves | LIVE Deadline Day Special

‘Jota’ is ‘J’ in Portuguese. Therefore, a lot of people with the initial J somewhere in their name are nicknamed ‘Jota’.

Therefore, you get the likes of Liverpool’s Diogo Jota, who’s actually called Diogo José Teixeira da Silva by his parents. ‘Jota’ is also a Spanish type of music and dance, as well as the name of an Istrian stew, made with beans, sauerkraut, potatoes, bacon and spare ribs. Which sounds… fine.

So, Filipe’s actual given name is João Pedro Neves Filipe. But you can call him Jota.

Photo by Allsport UK

2. Filipe Jota is Celtic’s second ever Portuguese player

Provided we’re doing our research correctly, Filipe Jota is the club’s second ever Portuguese player. In terms of permanent signings, anyway.

The last was, of course, Jorge Cadete. Scorer of 30 goals in 37 outings, during just one season at Parkhead, Cadete was one of the Three Amigos, beside Paolo di Canio and Pierre van Hooijdonk. Scary to think how prolific that trio could have been given a few more years together.

Given Portugal’s history of producing excellent footballers, you’d have thought Celtic might have signed a few more since our founding. Not so much.

Guinea, until yesterday, boasted more ex-Bhoys, with Bobo Baldé and Momo Sylla. Iceland also had two, as did China, Bulgaria, Japan, Senegal, Slovakia and Venezuela.

100 points if you can name them all.

3. Filipe Jota: in elite company in terms of Euro U19 goals

You might’ve read that Jota was a star at a recent UEFA Euro U19 tournament.

In the 2018 edition, Jota was in the UEFA Team of the Tournament, and finished joint-top scorer [UEFA]. Very promising stuff, and it probably explains the next point.

What about other Top Scorers at Euro U19 level, though? You’re expecting some big names, we’re sure.

Fine, well: it’s a mixed bag. Nathan Delfouneso, once of Aston Villa, won the accolade with England in 2009. Ben Brereton, who now represents Chile at international level, was joint top-scorer for England in 2017.

Who else is there? Fulham’s record signing Konstantinos Mitroglou [FFC]! I’m losing you here, aren’t I?

Wait, though. Fernando Torres was top scorer in 2002, and went on to have an illustrious career, winning a Champions League, a World Cup, and becoming a £50m player.

There’s also Alvaro Morata, now of Juventus, who’s won two Champions Leagues, two Serie A titles and a Europa League amongst a litany of trophies [Transfermarkt].

In the words of José Mourinho: this is football heritage.

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

4. Celtic have a player recently chased by Premier League big-hitters and Bayern Munich

Only two years ago, Jota’s (relatively) low release clause at Benfica set antennae twitching across Europe.

Off the back of his aforementioned youth international exploits, some big names sent scouts to Benfica matches. Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal were all keeping an eye [Telegraph], while European Goliaths Bayern Munich also keeping tabs on his contract situation [O Jogo].

Obviously, such a move never came for Jota. However, Bernardo Silva of Manchester City endorsed a move to England to Sol in 2019.

5. He shares an agency firm with Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Manchester United links don’t end there

From the red of Benfica to the red of Manchester United? When Jota was just 15, it could’ve happened.

The young Portuguese attacker went on trial with the Red Devils [Goal], alongside current Sporting CP loanee Joao Virginia, who ended up signing for Everton.

Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images

However, just because that move didn’t happen, it didn’t mean Jota wouldn’t end up sharing an agency firm with another Manchester United titan.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s just returned to the club that made him a star, is a Gestifute client, just like the 22-year-old Celtic man [Transfermarkt].

It’s not just CR7, either. The Jorge Mendes-helmed enterprise also represents Ruben Dias, Ederson and Fabinho.

Footballing-wise, it’s not bad company to keep.

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