Kyogo details his pre-Celtic conversation with Shunsuke Nakamura

By David Walton

March 23, 2022

Kyogo Furuhashi has detailed his pre-Celtic conversation with Shunsuke Nakamura before arriving at Parkhead in the summer.

The former Vissel Kobe man has taken Scottish football by storm this season. It comes after Celtic splashed out £4.6m to land Kyogo in the summer window [Scottish Sun]. Despite being out since December with a hamstring injury, the Japanese international still sits on 16 goals for the season in an incredibly impressive return [Transfermarkt].

Kyogo has followed in the footsteps of the great Nakamura, who shone under Gordon Strachan between 2005 and 2009. Nakamura’s success in Glasgow was a huge factor in the excitement levels from Celtic fans over Kyogo’s signing.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And as he spoke to the Celtic View [Volume 57, Issue 3, page 16], Kyogo provided some details on what was discussed between the pair before his arrival:

“I was very happy to have a conversation with him. He told me that there would be comparisons but just to enjoy my football and he thought I could achieve a lot of great things.

“In the history of Celtic and Japan, Shunsuke Nakamura is right up there and these are the achievements that I have to overcome in a good way. This depends on me and this is what I’ve been concentrating on doing in my own way and playing with this mentality to always try and improve.”

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Kyogo still taking inspiration from Celtic great Nakamura

Kyogo is clearly still taking a lot from Nakamura. Whether he is indeed one of his footballing idols or not is anyone’s guess, but he’s the absolute benchmark when it comes to Japanese Celtic players.

Kyogo says he wants to “overcome” what Nakamura did at Parkhead. An interesting but ambitious way to look at things from his perspective.

Naka of course managed to win 3 consecutive Scottish Premier League titles and got his hands on the Scottish Cup and League Cup too. Mainly, however, he’s remembered for his special free-kicks and his heroics against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Those are the levels Kyogo simply must reach if he’s to seriously reach the same level as Naka. Regardless of whether they play in different positions or not, that’s the stage Kyogo needs to be competing on.

It’s class to see that these 2 have been in touch in the past and remain in touch. It’s clear that Nakamura is still taking a very keen interest in the Hoops, and that’s always nice to see from former players.

Will we be eventually reflect on any of our current Japanese talents in the same way we reminisce about Naka? Time will tell.

In other news, Ange believed David Turnbull was in for a “really big season” before Celtic injury