This is Yatao – Exclusive interview with former Celtic and Yokohama player Rudi Vata

This time, I have interviewed a very special person related to both Celtic and Yokohama ahead of Celtic’s Japan Tour and that person is none other than Rudi Vata, who is the father of current Celtic player, Rocco Vata.

After playing for about four seasons at Celtic from 1992, he was called by Pierre Littbarski in 2003 to join Yokohama FC were played for a year in Japan. He is currently based in Eastern Europe by establishing “Vata Vision Football Management”.

I don’t think explanation about his career at Celtic is necessary for Celtic fans, but just in case, I’ll share the link HERE

YATAO: Could you tell me about your memorable moment at Celtic?

RUDI VATA: “My memorable time at Celtic was winning the Scottish Cup in 1995. It had been a difficult period at Celtic and the four years I was there we had 3 different managers Liam Brady, Lou Macari and Tommy Burns. Winning the Scottish Cup was a real turning point for Celtic and their success continued from that time on . Being at Celtic was like one big family and everyone got on so well. I absolutely loved waking up to go to training everyday.”


YATAO: What was Celtic fans to you?

RUDI VATA: “The fans also made my time at Celtic amazing. They showed so much love and respect for the players win, lose or draw and still to this day they stop me in the street. Definitely the best fans in the world.”

YATAO: Celtic will visit Yokohama for the Japan Tour this summer, but I’ve heard that Yokohama is special place for you who played for Yokohama FC. In fact, do you still feel nostalgic when you look back on the days you spent in Yokohama and the memories at Yokohama FC?

RUDI VATA: “Moving to Yokohama was a wonderful experience too. I had played in Germany for 4 years and I thought the Germans were the most disciplined people on earth until I got to Japan. I couldn’t believe how hard working and correct the Japanese people were. At Yokohama FC they made me and my family very welcome and were so great to help us settle in to a very different culture.”

YATAO: Do you have any nostalgic memories with Yokohama FC fans?

RUDI VATA: “I remember the fans turning up at training and not looking for your jersey or signature or boots but just to welcome you and bring gifts. I got lovely Japanese tea sets, baby gifts (as Ruan was 7 months old when we moved to Japan) and beautiful framed pictures and ornaments…very generous people.”

YATAO: Do you have any favourite places or memorable ones in Yokohama?

RUDI VATA: “One of our favourite places to go was Sky Gardens. What an amazing view all over Yokohama it was an unbelievable experience. The technology was mind blowing in Yokohama too.

“We loved visiting the port also where you could see all the ships coming in also China town was fabulous.”

“On Ruan’s first birthday we took him to Disney land Toyko. It’s so near to Yokohama and we had an amazing day out.”

“It’s an immaculate country no litter around, the streets are spotless even at the club when we arrived everyone took their shoes off at the door and put flip flops on.

“We have so many wonderful memories of Yokohama, my team mates were all great guys. Hard working but liked a laugh also. The experience of working in Japan made me absolutely certain that the Japanese players Celtic signed would be a massive success as I know the mentality and how disciplined and hard working they are.”

28th December 2022 Easter Road, Scottish Premiership Football, Hibernian versus Celtic Rocco Vata on the ball Photo Vagelis Georgariou

YATAO: Finally, Rocco, who made his first team debut last season, is one of the most remarkable young players at Celtic. As a father, could you tell me about your feelings for him and the charm of his personality?

RUDI VATA: “With Rocco it’s been great to watch him develop into the player he is today. He joined Celtic at seven years and now he is 18. He’s so hard working and dedicated. I believe when everyone is born god gives them a talent. Some use it to the best of their ability and some hand it back to God without using it.

“Rocco certainly uses what he has been blessed with the best of his ability. I’m always proud of him but I must say when he made his debut I was emotional it was a special moment for all the family. I always encourage him to work hard and be the best he can be. Talent is never enough you have to put in the extra work to make yourself stand out.”

That’s all. Thank you so much to Rudi, Ann and the Vata family for their cooperation in this interview. This article will also be released in Japanese for Japanese football fans to read and in Scotland via my exclusive articles on The Celtic Star.

For Rocco, visiting Japan where his father played must be a special moment in his career.

Also, I’m looking forward to seeing how Rocco will evolve next season under Brendan Rodgers, who will quickly see how talented a young Celtic player he is.


READ THIS…This is Yatao – “I still have unforgettable memories of Celtic,” Koki Mizuno

About Author

I am a Content Creator and Origami art Creator, Analyst working for think tank in Japan and I joined this team in May 2023 and started to write articles as Japanese Celtic author for The Celtic Star. I live in Kobe(Japan) and have followed Celtic after 14 October, 2006, when I had watched the game against Dundee United FC - Shunsuke Nakamura scored a hat-trick. Also I am an enthusiastic supporter of Vissel Kobe, and I am familiar with various information and history of J-League. I have been posting threads on trajectory and background of Celtic Japanese players on Twitter mainly since summer of 2022 in order to further deepen the bond between Celtic and Japan. This time, I'm so proud to be more committed to Celtic by joining The Celtic Star team. I'm good at changing of viewpoints, so please expect my articles written from fresh perspective.

Comments are closed.