Son of Celtic cult hero Rudi Vata features for U18s

By Euan Davidson

April 17, 2021

Dynasties have been all the rage at Celtic since the club’s beginnings.

Examples include the Kelly family, who ran the club for decades. Generations of McStays have left their mark. McNamara Sr and Jr featured in the Green and White to great acclaim. The list goes on and on. The latest might be Rocco Vata, who at 16 this year, is already featuring for an exciting U18 squad.

Vata made the bench last night as a Celtic development side cruised to a 3-0 win over Aberdeen. Squaring up against a Barry Robson-led side of Dons youngsters, it was Carse, Brooks and Murray who made the difference for the Bhoys [AFC].

Vata has already made his youth international bow. The son of Celtic cult hero Rudi Vata, a Scottish Cup winner in 94-95, Rocco has won plaudits from the Albanian President [Twitter], and boasts 5 appearances for the Republic of Ireland U15s [Transfermarkt].

Just to add another bit of intrigue, he was born in Hamilton. If you know any other South Lanarkshire based Ireland youth internationals who are also eligible for Albania, then well done.

Rudi Vata in an excellent Celtic kit / (Photo by Allsport UK/ALLSPORT)

Celtic enthusiasm of Rudi Vata has clearly passed down a generation

Rudi Vata has previously talked of his admiration for Celtic. Despite only playing for a season in the Green and White, his legacy is considerable.

Vata’s star status in Albania led to a significant Bhoys following in the country. Indeed, President Ilir Meta’s passion for the club was inflamed by the former Le Mans man’s spell in the East End of Glasgow.

Already, his son has spent more time at Celtic than his father, but there’s genuine excitement about Rocco’s potential. Whether he was named after ex-Celt Rocco Quinn is up for debate, but there’s clearly a familial affection for the Hoops. Vata Sr said of his time in Glasgow [Celtic Wiki]:

“I was just a young Albanian who walked into a big, massive club with a big reputation and big players everywhere and it was a great experience, just great, great, great… Every morning I would wake up happy, just looking forward to going to work at Celtic Park.”

Here’s hoping Vata Jr can make an even greater impact for Celtic. Whether he ends up playing for Ireland, Albania or even Scotland will be a fascinating running story.

Certainly, playing for the Celtic U18s by this point can only be a sign of his potential.

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