KYOGO FURUHASHI was sent congratulations from Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta and former Celtic fans’ favourite Shunsuke Nakamura following his two-goal display in the 2-1 Premier Sports League Cup Final triumph over Hibs on Sunday.

However, the Japanese international frontman admitted a few of the messages left him “very shocked”.

There were comparisons to the iconic Henrik Larsson who wowed the club’s followers in his seven years in the east end of Glasgow after arriving on a bargain £650,000 fee from Feyenoord in 1997.


HEADS I WIN…Kyogo Furuhashi with the newly-won League Cup.

HEADS I WIN…Henrik Larsson balanncing the top of the league championship trophy after the 1998 success.

Kyogo, bought by Ange Postecoglou for £4.6million from J-League outfit Vissel Kobe in late july, refused to be ruled out of the Hampden silverware shoot-out after suffering from a hamstring strain.

He took his place in the frontline and contributed the two strikes that hoisted his season’s tally to 16 and brought the trophy back to Parkhead for the fifth time in six years.

However, Kyogo was astonished to be likened to the talismanic Swede and admitted: “I’m very shocked, but happy to hear this.

“Of course, I am happy to be compared with Henrik Larsson. Every striker would like to hear that.

“But, at the same time, I just need to focus on growing in my own way and in my own style.”

Kyogo, 26, continued: “Just after we won the Cup Final on Sunday, I received congratulations from Iniesta and Nakamura.

“They’d sent them first thing on Monday morning from Japan. It’s pleasing for me that they did that and are looking at my progress. It meant a lot to me.”

PYRAMID OF PLEASURE…Kyogo Furuhashi with his traditional goal celebration.

SWEDE DREAMS…Henrik Larsson lets rip with joy.

Reflecting on the Hampden triumph, the pacy attacker, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “It was the best memory so far for me in football.

“Obviously, we still have to continue getting on with the season, but, for me, it was such a great evening. I just went home, as usual.

“I spent the evening in a very normal way, but it was really good to celebrate with everybody at the stadium.

“A lot of people had a good evening. I’m just happy to share good news with our supporters.

“I can’t quite describe in words when it comes to the bond I have with the Celtic supporters.

“I do believe that it’s very strong. “I’m very grateful for them to accept somebody who has come from Japan to play here. I just want to pay back by playing better in every game and that’s what I intend doing.

“I’m very shocked at how strong the bond is between our manager and all my team-mates as there have been a lot of new players this season.

“It’s because of everyone’s support that I’m able to play my best football. I feel very lucky to have that. I’m so happy to be with the people here.

SILVER SURFER…Kyogo Furuhashi slides across the Hampden turf after hitting the winer against Hibs.

GOT IT LICKED…Henrik Larsson celebrates in typical style after scoring against Kilmarnock.

“I really want to communicate with my team-mates, the staff and everybody (in English) so I’m actually studying very hard at the moment.

“I hope to improve quickly. It’s very important. Life in Glasgow has been great so far. It’s really easy to live here and it’s becoming my favourite place to live.

“Unfortunately, I can’t go out too much at the moment due to the circumstances, but once things settle down a bit more, I would love to explore Glasgow more.

“Right now I am focusing on one game at a time.”

*DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from St Mirren v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.


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