"I was overwhelmed"; Reo Hatate's brilliantly tells Japanese media about Celtic supporters
Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate has brilliant spoken about how the Hoops supporters left him “overwhelmed” after winning the league championship.
The Celtic support piled into Tannadice to watch their side secure the title with a 1-1 draw against Dundee United last month. That was then followed by a brilliant celebration at Parkhead where the fans again packed the place to congratulate their heroes later that evening.
Hatate was a big part of the refreshing of the Celtic first-team back in January. His arrival added some dynamism to the middle of the park as he went on to make 21 appearances whilst adding 7 direct goal contributions to his name [Transfermarkt].
And as he looked back on that brilliant night at Tannadice, Hatate has told the media in Japan all about how the supporters made him feel as well as a look behind the curtain at the dressing-room celebrations.
As quoted by Sportiva Shueisha, Hatate said: “Even though the game against Dundee United, which clinched the championship, was away from home, almost half of the stands were filled with Celtic fans. I was overwhelmed by the sight of the Celtic fans jubilating in front of me and the power and wildness of the chants in our honour, as the two league titles I had won with Frontale were Corona disasters.
“I was also amazed by the intensity of my teammates’ joy. Even more than when they were rejoicing with the fans/supporters on the pitch, they were bursting with joy back in the locker room. Champagne was sprayed, they sang loudly and danced around. It was a perfect description of a party. Of course I joined in the fun and soaked up the joy of the victory, but I didn’t forget to cool down, so I think I was cooler than the rest of my teammates.
It was only afterwards that I was surprised by the enthusiasm of the fans. The Dundee United game was away, so after the game we got on the team bus and went back to our home ground, Celtic Park. There was a huge crowd of fans waiting for us. When the bus arrived, there was a huge chorus. Some were setting off fireworks, others were burning green smoke bombs. The sheer number of people and the overwhelming spectacle made me realise once again that I was playing in Europe.”
Reo Hatate blown away by Celtic supporters’ post-title party
You get the feeling Hatate hasn’t seen anything yet. Sure, he’s experienced a packed Celtic Park. He’s experienced Glasgow derby wins home and away. He’s experienced winning the Premiership title too. But what he hasn’t experienced is a packed out European night at Celtic Park.
Sure, Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League was a nice taster, but next season things are going to be cranked up even further when we enter the UCL. That’s what’s going to be on the cards when he returns for pre-season as he looks to battle his way back into the starting XI.
The atmosphere inside Parkhead is going to be electric and it’ll be fascinating to see whether Ange’s team is able to respond to that. Whether they’ll be able to crank up the performance levels further and really make those nights occasions that we’ll all remember for the rest of our lives.
That’s the new opportunity that sits in front of players such as Hatate. A chance to really announce themselves as Celtic players on the biggest stage.
It’s great to see the support have such a positive effect on him this early into his Celtic career. Especially when he’s gone through highs and lows already in Glasgow.
Hopefully, we see a more evolved footballer in 2022/23 as we prepare to make our mark on the European stage once again.