Kyogo Furuhashi aims to keep Celtic fans smiling as he prepares for the new season after recently signing a new deal.
After scoring 54 goals in 83 appearances for the Hoops since his arrival from Vissel Kobe in July 2021, the 28-year-old signed a new four-year contract with the Parkhead club earlier in the month.
Furuhashi’s popularity among the Celtic support increased further last season as he helped the Hoops win the domestic treble, and the Japan forward expressed his gratitude for the support, telling the club’s official website: “From children to elderly people, a lot of people are cheering and supporting us.
“Once I step outside of the house and go into the city, many people talk to me, and at the stadium, all the supporters are cheering us from the bottom of their hearts.
“And because they are there, we can compete because I want to see their smiles. I work hard to get the win and they are very important to me.”
On his new deal under “brilliant” new boss Brendan Rodgers, he said: “I’m really delighted, to be honest. I’m happy that it shows how much they value me and want me.
“For the team and for the people who support us, and also for myself, I will continue to improve and to deliver success.”
Rodgers has taken over from Ange Postecoglou who departed for Tottenham at the end of the 2022-23 season.
Following a training camp in Portugal, the Northern Irishman – in his second spell as Hoops boss – will take Celtic to Japan, which will be a homecoming for Furuhashi and Celtic team-mates Reo Hatate, Tomoki Iwata, Yuki Kobayashi and Daizen Maeda.
The Scottish champions will play two games in Japan – against Yokohama F Marinos on July 19 and Gamba Osaka on July 22 and Furuhashi said: “I’m really excited about it and excited to play in front of Japanese fans.
“Many players from Celtic are going so I want them (Japanese fans) to know about us and become our fans.
“Also, many people from Scotland are coming down and I want them to enjoy Japanese culture too.
“They will be two tough games but if we can deliver what we are working and believing in, then they will be good games and the good results will follow, and we will play with high confidence in ourselves.”
As for working under a new Celtic boss, Furuhashi said: “He’s a brilliant manager.
“I’m happy to work with him and I would like to return the favour by playing well to get success.
“We need to work hard together to get as many wins as possible. There will be the Champions League as well so we need to prepare well in order to have good results this season.”