Dan Orlowitz, Sports journalist from Japan Times, who was so helpful to the Celtic fan media earlier the year when news broke that Celtic were about to appoint Ange Postecoglou as the new Celtic manager, yesterday posted the highlights of Celtic Star Kyogo Firuhashi’s television interview ahead of the World Cup qualifier between Saudi Arabia and Japan. Saudi Arabia won the match 1-0.
Kyogo was speaking to the former Japan international and current TV commentator Takashi Mizunuma.
The stand-out point is probably the remarks from Kyogo on his ambition to play in the English Premier League, you will remember that Liel Abada said something very similar earlier this week while talking to Israeli media ahead of their game with Scotland at Hampden tomorrow. Abada wants to play for Liverpool, Kyogo has one eye south of the border and Celtic have a couple of new assets that they’ll hope to turn into stars and sell for a huge profit. It’s the way it works…
Kyogo did not start, you will be pleased to hear, he was named as a substitute and almost grabbed a late equaliser for Japan, watch the highlights below.
Japan v Saudi Arabia
DF Sakai Yoshida Tomiyasu Nagatomo
DMF Endo Shibasaki AMF Minamino Kamada Asano FW Osako
(Kubo, Doan injured. Furuhashi on bench. Expect home and Ito later when needed). pic.twitter.com/St6FKIWrIp
— JSoccer Magazine (@JSoccerMagazine) October 7, 2021
Here’s what happened when Kyogo spoke to Takashi Mizunuma, courtesy of Dan Orlowitz’s excellent twitter thread…
Kyogo on learning English...”I’m studying. I feel like I’m gradually making progress in communicating, but there’s still times when they don’t understand me. I’m doing my best to be understood with the vocabulary I know. Everyone’s very patient with me when they talk which is helpful.”
Kyogo on fitting in at Celtic: “I was lost in the beginning. I had 10 days of quarantine in London and the day after I got out was the league opener, and they said I was on the bench… I hadn’t trained, the first time I met my teammates was at lunch the day of the game.”
Kyogo on Celtic fans: “Our first home game wasn’t full, but even so I got goosebumps at the number of fans … I had great support in Japan but Celtic Park was bursting with energy. It was incredible to watch from the upper stands when I was injured.”
Kyogo on being out and about in Glasgow: “Wherever you go there are Celtic supporters and they always ask for photos or ask how I’m doing. When I’m out shopping the staff ask for photos. Masny people wear their (Celtic) uniforms out; it’s a very different vibe from Japan.”
“I’m studying. I feel like I’m gradually making progress in communicating, but there’s still times when they don’t understand me. I’m doing my best to be understood with the vocabulary I know. Everyone’s very patient with me when they talk which is helpful.”
Kyogo on Postecoglou: “Everyone calls him ‘manager’ but I knew of him from his time at YFM and I call him ‘boss’ a lot.” “He’s very detailed (about positioning & instructions) but everyone’s excited to play his style.”
Kyogo on lessons from Iniesta: “At FC Gifu I’d get the ball at my feet and then dribble toward the goal but that didn’t always work in J1. When I played with Andres, I learned that if I moved in certain ways the pass would come… I learned to see the right path.”
Kyogo On the World Cup: “Until recently I didn’t think I could get there as a player and it was a dream, but now I feel like I’m getting a chance to earn that right to play there and it’s turned into a goal.”
Kyogo on English Premier League aspirations: “Many players go from Scotland to the EPL; it’s motivating to see (Takehiro Tomiyasu) do well. Good results could open that path for me … but I have to get results to survive at (Celtic) & Japan National Team … I want to do the best I can and contribute to (both) teams.”
Kyogo on personal targets at Celtic: “I want to score 20+ goals this season. We’re one of the two biggest clubs in Scotland so that’s the standard I have to meet. Odsonne Edouard scored 18 last season so I want to beat that.”
Kyogo on Shunsuke’s legacy: “Shunsuke Nakamura made them think ‘Japanese players are amazing!’ and I hope through my play I can make it easier for JP players to come here. I’m a different style of player from Shunsuke, but I hope I can make them say ‘Furuhashi is amazing!'”
Ahead of tonight’s WCQ between Saudi Arabia and Japan, Kyogo Furuhashi spoke to former Japan international and current TV commentator Takashi Mizunuma about life at #CelticFC, J.League (& earlier) stuff and the Samurai Blue.https://t.co/xaPZM9RMm0
Thread with a few highlights:
— Dan Orlowitz (@aishiterutokyo) October 7, 2021