DAIZEN MAEDA was delivered an astonishing snub by Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu in the 1-1 friendly draw against Uruguay in Tokyo today.
The Celtic forward was left sitting on the substitutes’ bench for the entire 90 minutes-plus of the friendly international.
Moriyasu sent on SIX subs in the second-half with Maeda overlooked as his country came back from a goal down at the interval to gain a 1-1 draw.
CHEERS…Daizen Maeda celebrates a points-clinching strike for Celtic against Motherwell at Fir Park in November.
Federico Valverde, who played for Real Madrid against the Hoops in the Champions League earlier in the season, struck to put the visitors ahead in the 38th minute.
However Takima Nishimura, one of the stand-by squad to get the nod to play, levelled with 15 minutes to go.
Head coach Moriyasu created a stir by leaving out Parkhead duo Kyogo Furuhashi, scorer of 26 goals this season, and in-form midfielder Reo Hatate from his original squad for the matches against the South Americans and Tuesday’s opponents Colombia.
Maeda made the trip after recovering from injury to play for an hour in the champions’ 3-1 win over Hibs at Parkhead last weekend.
It is highly unlikely he would have been named on the bench if it was believed there was the slightest problem over his match-fitness.
Possibly, Maeda will get the opportunity to give the international gaffer an update on his form next week.
TEARS…Daizen Maeda is comforted by ex-Celtic team-mate Josip Juranovic as Japan go out of the World Cup after a dramatic penalty-kick shoot-out against Croatia.
Former Celtic star Kris Commons believes Moriyasu is “being disrespectful” to the champions over his treatment of Kyogo and Hatate, as CQN reported earlier this week.
The ex-Hoops and Scotland midfielder said: “The continued absence of Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate from the Japan squad is a strange business.
“They are two of the best players in Scotland and will probably be the two frontrunners to win the Player of the Year awards.
“So, when Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu questioned the overall quality within the SPFL as a reason for leaving them out, it didn’t really add up.
“Not when Daizen Maeda is being picked. Maeda is a good player, but he’s not on the same level technically as either Kyogo or Hatate.”