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.
“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.”
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) January 10, 2023