Celtic star Daizen Maeda was in action for his national team today and earned rave reviews off the back of his performance against Croatia.

He put his side 1-0 ahead just before the interval but Japan would miss out on penalties and crash out the tournament having reached the last 16.

Maeda Celtic Japan
REUTERS/Matthew Childs

Maeda has featured regularly for the Samurai Blue at the World Cup and having got on the scoresheet, earned some high praise from pundits watching on.

Many Hoops fans watching the clash against Croatia would not have been surprised at the way Maeda approached the game as he looked to be aggressive and cause problems in the Croat back line.

“He’s been an absolute livewire. That’s only his second international goal but he’s looked like a man possessed up there,” said Rio Ferdinand speaking on BBC’s coverage of the match.

“He was running around, making it difficult. With and without the ball he is a nuisance. He closed the goalkeeper down (in the first minute of the game) and you know you are in for it now.

Maeda Celtic
Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Round of 16 – Japan v Croatia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah, Qatar – December 5, 2022 Japan’s Daizen Maeda celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

“That’s a catalyst for the others to press behind him. He’s always on the move and he just drifts behind the centre-back.”

This has been a key feature of the Japanese internationals game since his arrival in Glasgow with him always looking to harass defences and put his team on the front foot.

The sentiments expressed by Ferdinand were also agreed with by former England striker Alan Shearer who also praised Maeda’s aggressiveness in the game.

“He’s been a nightmare for them at the back. He’s got too much energy for them,” said Shearer.

Having competed well for Japan at this World Cup, his attention will now begin to turn back to club duty with the Scottish champions returning to action on December, 17.

Maeda Celtic
9th November 2022; Fir Park, Motherwell, N Lanarkshire, Scotland, Scottish Premier league football, Motherwell versus Celtic: Daizen Maeda of Celtic celebrates after he makes it 2-0 to Celtic in the 84th minute

All of his other Celtic teammates made it to the knockout round of the tournament but it is only Josip Juranovic who progresses to the quarter final with Cameron Carter-Vickers, Aaron Mooy and now Maeda all heading back to Glasgow having done their countries proud.







Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.