Kyogo reckons that the Celtic support can create an incredible atmosphere at Paradise next Tuesday night that will rock Real Madrid and help Ange Postecoglou’s side get off to a flyer in Group F by taking three points off the Champions of Europe.
Kyogo’s Media Conference from Thursday afternoon has somewhat gone under the radar. It was probably aimed at audiences back home in Japan as much as the Celtic support around the world and it’s worthwhile having a look at what the confident, yet extremely humble Celtic striker had to say about playing in the Champions League and of course the incredibly exciting prospect of taking on Real Madrid in that opening match a week on Tuesday at Celtic Park.
The fixtures were announced this morning with the European Champions coming first and last for Celtic with the double header in the middle of the group coming against RB Leipzig.
Here’s what Kyogo had to say at his media conference…
He started by pointing out that all four teams in the group are strong, there on merit and have good players, including Celtic. “All teams still have great players and play good football. I really think that they are a difficult teams to play against and I hope that they think that about us too,” Kyogo said.
On Celtic’s unique brand of football under Ange Postecoglou (who is celebrating his birthday today), the Japan international striker had this to say. “The way we play our football is a bit unique and I think that it’s difficult for opponents to play against us so we want to take on the challenge with confidence.
On his ambitions for the Group stages and what the opponents can expect from Celtic: “I don’t think about the future, I want to focus on each game in front of us. We want to win every single match and get through the Group stage.
“We are good at constantly running with possession and not allowing the opens time to rest. We keep doing that consistently and in some games we score a lot of goals. We keep the ball even against the most difficult opponents and cause trouble for them while controlling the game.
“We have the quality to do that and I am confident that we can do that against any opponent,” Kyogo stated.
On Callum McGregor wanting Real Madrid in the Champions League draw, Kyogo revealed that he was thinking along similar lines. “I was hoping for that as well. it is very encouraging to be able to fight at home. Our fans are our biggest allies.
“I was looking forward to playing Real Madrid and to also compete against RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk is a good group for me. This will be a good opportunity for the team — and for me as well — to grow.”
On what the atmosphere will be like next Tuesday when the European Champions come calling to Paradise. “I believe our supporters will get behind us and deflate Real Madrid. All we have to do is put on a solid performance on the pitch and make all our supporters happy.
“I’ve heard it’s going to be a really great atmosphere. I really can’t stop imagining how exciting it will be and I can’t wait for match day to come. I don’t know how much playing time I will be given but I want to contribute to the team in the scoring goals and pressing up front to help the team win.
“I want to bring energy to the team and the fans.”
On reaching the big stage of the Champions League for the first time as a player, Kyogo joined out that he has played at the highest level in international football and that he hopes that his appearance in the Champions League for Celtic will inspire the next generation of young players back in Japan.
“I have played on the big stage many times before and this challenge may be a big one but I have overcome barriers many times. I’m surrounded by a lot of good teammates, staff and supporters right now so I’m hoping to take this opportunity with the help of those around me.
“It’s a stage I’ve been watching for a long time and it’s a stage I’ve always wanted to be on. I have been hoping to play in the Champions League since I was in Japan and now I have the chance.
“I hope that I can give dreams and hope to the children in Japan and the younger generation playing football if you keep working hard, you can make it to this stage,” Kyogo said.
Henrik Larsson on talkSport this morning…
“It’s unbelievable. It you haven’t gone to Celtic Park – go there, please, because it’s an experience that you won’t get anywhere else,” he told Talk Sport radio this morning. The supporters are fantastic, especially on the European nights when you play because those are the biggest nights, and everybody comes out for the team and really helps the team. I don’t think the Celtic team would have had the energy to keep going for 90+ minutes if it wasn’t for the supporters.”