La Liga legend sent superb message to Celtic player this week
Barcelona and La Liga legend Andres Iniesta sent a warm congratulatory message to Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi after his League Cup final exploits on Sunday.
Iniesta was joined by former Celtic fan-favourite Shunsuke Nakamura in giving the 16-goal Hampden hero a buzz after his biggest game in a Hooped jersey yet.
Kyogo was inspirational on Sunday as he helped turn around a 1-0 deficit against Hibernian with 2 extraordinary finishes to ensure Celtic came away with a first trophy for Ange Postecoglou.
And speaking in the wake of the game and ahead of tonight’s trip to St Mirren, Kyogo has touched on the messages he received from the likes of Iniesta and Naka earlier this week.
As quoted by the Scotsman, Kyogo said: “Just after we won the cup final on Sunday, I received congratulations messages from Iniesta and Nakamura.
“They’d sent them first thing on Monday morning from Japan. It’s pleasing for me that they did that and are looking at my progress. It meant a lot to me.”
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Kyogo Furuhashi is making a level of impact no Celtic supporter expected
It’s no surprise to see him earn the plaudits of the likes of Iniesta and Nakamura. He played with the former and clearly looked up to him during his Vissel Kobe days. As for Nakamura, he was the first Japanese player to win the hearts and minds of the Celtic support.
But Kyogo is already making his own mark at Parkhead. To have managed 16 goals in 25 appearances so far this term is electric stuff [Transfermarkt]. However, to have managed it whilst being out with 2 separate injuries is frightening.
Remember, the fomer J-League superstar was out for a month over the course of September. Not to mention he had missed the last 2 matches before the cup final with another knock. He wasn’t even at 100% when he came up against the Easter Road side.
His impact on Scottish football, not just Celtic, has ben meteoric. He’s making the game here appreciate and recognise a new type of centre-forward. One that relies not on brute strength or sheer pace, but on footballing intelligence.
That’s why the comparisons with Henrik Larsson aren’t out of place. Was Henrik the strongest or the fastest in the team? No. But he knew exactly how to catch defences out and always came back for more even if he missed glaring opportunities. That’s the mentality of a world class striker.
Whether Kyogo will ever realise the heights Larsson managed at Celtic remains to be seen. He has a long way to go. But even this early on, you can see why there’s an urge to compare the 2. The best striker since Henrik? It’s difficult to see who else could take the tag.