Celtic Forward Kyogo Furuhashi has revealed how his fellow teammates supported him after he was left out of Japan’s squad for the World Cup.

Many Celtic fans were left shocked to see both Kyogo and Reo Hatate left out by Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu with Daizen Maeda being the only player selected for the squad.

Japan kick-off their World Cup campaign tomorrow against Germany with it unknown whether Maeda will feature for the Samurai Blue.

Kyogo has admitted that he was disappointed after being left out but was supported by his teammates as he instead headed down under with the remainder of the squad to compete in the Sydney Super Cup against Everton and Sydney FC.

The player speaking exclusively in a Japanese newspaper column revealed that he was braced for the call as he got up early to watch the live press conference by Moriyasu only to be left out which left him in shock.

“My dream and my goal was to play in the World Cup. Of course, I was extremely disappointed and shocked. But this is no time to stay depressed,” said Kyogo speaking to Mainichi Shimbun.

“My football life doesn’t end here. Now I have to move forward. I woke up early in the morning at home in Scotland to watch the press conference announcing the members of the national team, but my name was not called. I was preparing for the Champions League match against Real Madrid so I tried not to think about it and concentrated on the game in front of me.

“During this time, my Celtic teammates were very supportive. I felt that everyone cared about me a lot.

“It would be selfish to stay depressed for ever and it would cause trouble for the team. My motto is to smile and I kept saying ‘don’t worry’ and tried to keep a smile on my face. When I went home after the game against Real, I had the next day off. I decided to use that one day to cheer myself up. We watched films and played games. I spent the rest of the day lounging around at home. And by the time I went to training the next morning, I felt okay.

“The World Cup is a stage I have dreamt of playing in since I was a child. When I was called up to the national team for the first time in 2019, my dream turned into a goal. And every time I got selected for the squad, I felt I was getting closer. I moved to Celtic last summer because I wanted to play abroad and at the same time I wanted to play in the World Cup. I thought that if I played well abroad, the World Cup would be an extension of that.

“But I wasn’t good enough. I had chances to play for the national team in the past, but I didn’t make any tangible difference in terms of being a goal scorer. I have no regrets about the path I chose. Looking back, four years ago, when the tournament was held in Russia, I was still with FC Gifu in the second division.

“At the time, I couldn’t have imagined that I would be feeling such regret four years later. So it’s great that I was able to experience this feeling. I can’t think about four years from now, but I am motivated to grow into a player who will be selected for the next edition. I will support Japan as a fan. There are players who have fought with me carrying the flag of Japan on their shoulders. I really want them to make it to the last eight for the first time.”

There could still be a chance that Kyogo gets the opportunity to represent his country in four years time but this must have came as a real surprise to the 27-year old having been involved in the national set up regularly under Moriyasu.

Kyogo has scored scored eleven goals for the Scottish champions so far this season and will be looking to add to that tally when domestic football resumes next month. The former Vissel Kobe striker has already revealed that he has set his ambitions for the remained of the season.

9th November 2022; Fir Park, Motherwell, N Lanarkshire, Scotland, Scottish Premier league football, Motherwell versus Celtic: Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic celebrates after he makes it 1-0 in the 15th minute

“My latest target is to score 15 goals in the league by the end of the season.

“Last season I scored 12 goals. This season I have already reached double figures, so I think if I can score 15 this season I will have had a better season. I feel that if I get over 15 goals next time, I can surpass what I did last year. I just want to get better and give something back to everyone. I can do my best because so many people support me and give me love.”





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