KYOGO FURUHASHI is hoping to get the nod from Brendan Rodgers to play in some part of today’s game against Gamba Osaka for “personal reasons”.
The Celtic talisman wasn’t risked to start the midweek 6-4 loss against Yokohama F Marinos and only made an appearance in the 67th minute as a substitute for hat-trick star Daizen Maeda.
Rodgers later admitted the Hoops’ most prolific marksman had “an issue” with a shoulder problem that also troubled him last season, as CQN reported.
SCREEN GEM…Kyogo Furuhashi speaks to the Japanese audience before today’s game in Osaka.
However, today’s final match of the week-long tour of Japan is seen as a homecoming for 28-year-old international striker who has claimed 54 goals for the Parkhead club since his £4.6million arrival from Vissel Kobe in July 2021.
Kyogo said: “Gamba Osaka is a very great team with so many good players and they have played well in the last few games in the league.
“We both have the same attacking football philosophy, so I hope it will be a great game and we can entertain the fans who are coming to watch.
“Personally, I want to have a presence in the game if I have a chance to play.
“I went to high school in Osaka and played against Gamba Osaka many times when I was with Vissel Kobe.
“So, I want to enjoy this opportunity and have a good game against them.
“Obviously, we want to win because it is a game, but, at the same time, we want to play great football and we want to entertain our fans.”
THE FINAL GOAL…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates putting Celtic into the lead in the 3-1 Scottish Cup showpiece triumph that sealed the world record eighth domestic treble. It was also his 34th – and last – strike of a formidable campaign.
Asked about his recent four-year contract extension, Kyogo, speaking to Celtic TV, answered: “There are lots of people here who believe in me and love me and need me.
“I was very happy when I was offered a contract extension and I want to continue to repay the favour with results.”
The Celtic squad will return to Yokohama after the game before flying back to Glasgow. They are due to face Wolves in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin a week today before taking on Atheltic Bilbao in the James Forrest Testimonial Match the following Tuesday.
The competitive action kicks off in a fortnight when Ross County visit on Premiership Flag Day in the east end of Glasgow.
* DON’T miss the unbeatable action from Gamba Osaka v Celtic today – only in your champion CQN.