“His movement is the best I’ve ever played with,” Matt O’Riley praises Kyogo

Matt O’Riley managed to scoop the Man of the Match award against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night after he put in another star performance for the Hoops. The Danish international has been the star of the show since the beginning of the season and his wonderful form shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Matt O’Riley of Celtic poses for a photo with the PlayStation Player Of The Match award after the draw in the UEFA Champions League match between Celtic FC and Atletico Madrid at Celtic Park Stadium on October 25, 2023.. (Photo by Jan Kruger – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

The midfielder has been the epicentre of everything good that Celtic have did since Brendan Rodgers returned to the club following his departure in February of 2019. Adding goals to his game along with more assists had been the gauntlet laid down to the 22-year-old by the Irishman and he’s certainly taken it on board with his blistering start to the new season.

There’s no denying that Matty is probably going to be the next big export from Celtic Park and the paltry £10 million bid from Leeds United will look even more laughable when that time comes. The Celtic Star already reported that world-renowned transfer expert, Fabrizio Romano, has claimed it would take a new Scottish-record bid to lure the Dane away from Paradise – eclipsing that of Kieran Tierney and Jota’s respective transfers in the process.

Celtic v Atletico Madrid Champions League 25/10/2023. Matt O Riley of Celtic FC during the Champions League match between Celtic and Atletico Madrid at Celtic Park,  on 25 October 2023. Photo Colin Poultney  PSI

Matt’s superb form hasn’t been consigned to domestic football either, as his award for Man of the Match against the La Liga giants shows. He’s managed to translate that rich vein of form into tangible results in European competition. Along the way, it has become obvious that Matt’s telepathic connection with his Japanese teammate, Kyogo Furuhashi, is something that will be a strong focus for the rest of the campaign; both at home and abroad.

The pair linked up well for our goal against Lazio at Paradise on the second matchday of our Champions League group stage and they managed to do it again identically when Atleti came to town too. Matt has praised his comrade for making his life so much easier as a midfielder as the striker’s movement is second to none.

On his link-up and relationship with Kyogo on the field, Matt revealed: “I think you’ve seen it in the past that we’ve got quite a good relationship in terms of understanding each other’s movement,” explained O’Riley.

“So as soon as he played me, I knew where he was going to run because his movement is the best I’ve ever played with, so it’s pretty easy to play with him. I know we didn’t win but we know that we’re more than capable of performing at this level and I think we showed that again against a very good team with very good players. We’re still in, and we’ve got a point on the board now.”

If the Bhoys are to even have the slightest chance of securing European football after Christmas, then we need those two to remain at the top of their game. Chances are few and far between at this level and you need to make sure your composed and take them when playing against the very best teams.

It’s a long shot after only managing one point from three games but you just never know what can happen if our team plays to it’s full potential.

Paul Gillespie

Out now! We have a limited number of copies signed by both John Hartson and the author Matt Corr – click on the image to order….

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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