Maeda running on empty and the reason he doesn’t watch football on TV

Gradually Daizen Maeda is building up towards full fitness after just two weeks break after a season and a half of football in the J-League then immediately after it’s conclusion in the Scottish Premiership for the second half of last season. That was then followed by an international call-up for Japan so his long run without any sort of a break was extended even further.

With Giorgos Giakoumakis missing at the weekend due to an imminent new arrival in the Greek striker’s household, Maeda led the line in the second half against Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, replacing Kyogo at the break.

And with two further matches this week, against Legia Warsaw on Wednesday night for the Artur Boruc testimonial match then against Norwich City on Saturday, Maeda has a few more opportunities to go through his own gears in order to be fully fit for the season opener with the flag day visit of Aberdeen to Paradise.

The Japan international attacker has been speaking about the tough work being done at the moment in the pre-season, his excitement about playing for Celtic in the new season, not just in the Champions League but also in the domestic competitions and he also made a rather surprising admission about his own reluctance to even watch the Champions League on television, something that many Celtic supporters can identify with although for very different reasons.

“Pre-season has been normal, really hard work as always. Last year I had a long season. After the Premiership finished with Celtic I had international matches to be involved in,” Daizen Maeda said, as reported by Scottish Sun.

“I then had two weeks of rest and came back here. I’m trying to work gradually, but also hard to make sure I’m ready. I’m taking my time because my maximum condition will be ready for the beginning of the season.

“So I’m working with my tempo and rhythm to get ready.

IMAGO / GEPA pictures

“It’s not only the Champions League I’m looking forward to in the new season. I’m really excited to play in the domestic league and the cups, also. I’m looking forward to all of the season and it beginning again.”

Maeda has stuck up a great understanding with his teammates at Celtic, particularly the forward players and feels that playing alongside the likes of Jota, Abada, Kyogo, Giakoumakis and Forrest will mean that he’ll get plenty of goalscoring opportunities himself while intending to chip in with his fair share of assists.

“Every time I make a forward run, I know I will be receiving good passes. I really believe in my team-mates and would like to make more goals,” the popular Celtic star stated.

“Do I think that understanding will get better? Well, during the last season I felt I built good relations with all my team-mates, especially the attacking players. There are still several games before the new season begins, so hopefully we can improve even more by the time the competitive football starts again.”

 Daizen Maeda of Celtic celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Hibernian FC at on January 17, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

On his Champions League switch off, Maeda simply prefers watching baseball and passes completely on watching football on television explaining his reason for this at the weekend.

“I never watched the Champions League back in Japan because I don’t watch football on TV,” Daizen Maeda revealed. “I only ever watch baseball on TV. Why don’t I watch football? Because I don’t want to think about football on my days off.

“So I like to switch off and shut everything down. I think it is very important to have a different outlet.

“I have a favourite baseball team. As I’m from Osaka, Hanshin Tigers is the team I support. I played when I was younger, but I enjoyed playing football more so that is why I followed this path. What was I good at when I played baseball? Defence!”

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

1 Comment

  1. Allaboutceltic on

    The speed, determination and stamina Maeda displays every game he plays, must be an absolute nightmare for any defence or midfield. He might not score a barrowload of goals, but his work rate and effort are second to none. Proper team player and reckon I get more chuffed for him over any other player when they score. But all goals are special, just as this current group of players, Ange and the rest of the staff. Can’t wait to get going💪🔥👏💚