Following In The Footsteps Of Nakamura, Another Japanese Celt Inspired By His Countryman’s Achievements

Tomoki Iwata is the latest in an ever growing line of Celtic signing to emanate from Japan. It goes without saying that the greatest and most revered Japanese player to ply his trade at Paradise was Shunsuke Nakamura. Almost every football fan has some adulation for the genius free kick taker and Iwata is no different.

Speaking to the Daily Record , Celtic’s new Bhoy said: “Of course, I knew about Celtic from the times since our legend, Shunsuke Nakamura, was playing for the club.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 07: New Celtic signing Tomoki Iwata is unveiled at half time during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Kilmarnock FC at on January 07, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Since I was little I have been aware of Celtic and watching games. So I have known about the club for a long time. Shunsuke is a player I would like to imitate. For example, with free kicks.”

Nakamura shone in the Champions League for Celtic, scoring goals against Manchester United at both Old Trafford and Celtic Park. He was also part of multiple title winning teams and brought the league trophy home with a dramatic late winner at Rugby Park in 2007.

It’s inspiration for those making the move from Japan to the East End of Glasgow and Iwata added: “I’m right-footed but I try to kick with my left foot, too. He (Nakamura) is my example to follow. He was a really good player in terms of his touch on the ball.

“He was someone who always tries to make a difference in games with the ball at his feet. I think he was also an example to follow in terms of making young Japanese players believe they could come to Europe and play in the Champions League.”

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

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