World Cup winner Andrés Iniesta hails Kyogo impact at Celtic

By Euan Davidson

August 28, 2021

Andrés Iniesta has hailed Celtic striker Kyogo for his impact at a “historic club”.

Iniesta, a World Cup, two-time European Championship and four-time Champions League winner played with Kyogo at Vissel Kobe. Their partnership was fruitful, becoming close on and off the pitch.

When Kyogo was thinking of a move to Europe, it was Iniesta who set the Japan international up with his management company [Times].

After a distinguished career with his beloved Barcelona, Vissel Kobe came calling for the Spanish icon. Instead of gearing up for retirement in an exotic locale, the World Cup-winner has been his usual self. In 90 outings for Kobe, he’s scored 19, and set up 19 further [Transfermarkt].

A not inconsiderable amount of those assists were for Kyogo. Now Iniesta, a nine-time La Liga champion, is delighted with his former teammate’s progress.

He told The Times:

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“Kyogo is an excellent footballer, He is so hard-working, he is very fast and he scores goals. He has many very good qualities for European football.

“I’m glad he started so well in Glasgow because he was really looking forward to playing in Europe. Celtic is a historic club in world football, ideal for Kyogo.”

Andrés Iniesta lauds Celtic and Kyogo after blistering start to life in Glasgow

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard praise for Celtic from Iniesta. After playing at Paradise in the Champions League, the midfield dynamo said Celtic fans were the best he’d ever heard [Sun].

Of course, he’s far from alone in that assessment.

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

In terms of Kyogo, it feels as if Iniesta had a huge part to play in his decision to move to Celtic. The Japan striker had considered European transfers before, notably and somewhat ironically turning down AZ Alkmaar [Record].

We’re not suggesting that Iniesta drove Kyogo’s decision here. It was obvious that the former Vissel Kobe man was keen on a move to Europe, but only to the right club.

Luckily, that “right club” happens to be ours. And how we’re benefitting from it.

Ahead of a typically huge trip to Ibrox tomorrow, we’ll see how Kyogo reacts to his first Derby. On current form, it doesn’t seem like he’ll be remotely phased by the occasion.

Read more: Injury update ahead of Glasgow Derby