KYOGO FURUHASHI is just one strike away from the 60-goal mark since joining Celtic in a £4.6million move from J-League Vissel Kobe in last July 2021.
It’s an excellent return from the Japanese international frontman and even more praiseworthy when you take into consideration he missed four months of his debut campaign with two separate injuries.
Kyogo still managed to claim a total of 20 and topped that up with another 34 hits last term. When he applied the finishing touch to the exquisite move that carved open Lazio last week, it was his fifth counter of the current crusade.
A FIRST FOR KYOGO…Japanese ace Furuhashi claims his opening goal in the Champions League with his expert finish against Lazio.
However, the 28-year-old forward insists the best is yet to come and he is far from satisfied with his striking tallies at the Hoops.
It took him eight games to crash the Champions League barrier after firing blanks against Real Madrid, RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk home and away last term.
He was out of luck when nine-man Celts lost 2-0 to Feyenoord in Rotterdam last month, but cracked the code against the Serie A outfit to give Brendan Rodgers’ men a 12th-minute advantage, but, unfortunately, the team were undone when Pedro headed in a stoppage-time winner for the visitors.
Kyogo, who is in Japan for his country’s games against Canada – and Alistair Johnston – on Friday and Tunisia on Tuesday, told the local media: “There are games where I’ve scored, but I need to score more and improve my technique to help the team.
“I’m a little relieved [to score in Champions League].
HANDS UP IF YOU’RE HAPPY…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates another Celtic strike.
“It’s a big deal for me to be lucky enough to have this wonderful opportunity in my second year and be able to play in the CL.
“It’s a big deal for me to have been selected. While I’m working hard as a team to move up to the next stage, I’m also working hard as an individual. I want to hone my skills.”
Kyogo added: “We all want to do our best as a team so that we can go to a higher stage.
“I’d like to think I’ve made it. But instead of getting carried away, I’ve been working hard and steadily so that I can score when it’s time to score.”
The fans’ favourite will return to club action when the champions take on Hearts at Tynecastle a week on Sunday.
On his last visit on May 7, Kyogo and South Korean hitman Oh Hyeon-gyu claimed the goals in the 2-0 triumph that sealed Celtic’s eleventh title in 12 years.