Andres Iniesta has sent an emotional message of support to departing Vissel Kobe teammate Kyogo Furuhashi, as he gets set to join Ange Postecoglou at Celtic.
Furuhashi’s signing was announced over the weekend as Postecoglou’s third summer signing, joining Sheffield Wednesday‘s Osaze Urhoghide and Israeli winger Liel Abada at Parkhead.
The 26-year-old is the most exciting of the lot, however, having fired in 15 goals in 21 appearances despite playing out wide for Vissel Kobe this season.
He has blossomed into one of the most exciting attackers in Japan since joining Kobe in 2018, and he has cited Spanish legends Iniesta and David Villa as formative influences, having played alongside each of them in the J-League.
Iniesta in particular has been a guiding light for Furuhashi, and the two have struck up a close friendship after arriving in Kobe at the same time.
And Iniesta, speaking out on Twitter, sent a message of support to the winger, who is fulfilling his ‘dream’ of playing in Europe.
“Friend, a pleasure to share your wardrobe with you and see your growth.
“I am very happy that you can fulfill your dream of playing in European football. Good luck.”
Completing the tweet with a three-leaf clover emoji, it’s the latest example of Iniesta hinting at an affection for Celtic.
Speaking about Barcelona‘s Champions League tie at Parkhead in 2012 – which Celtic famously won despite seeing 16% possession – Iniesta claimed the atmosphere there was one of the best he had ever played in.
“I’ll never forget playing against Celtic either,” he said years later. “The atmosphere is one of the best in the world. I was fortunate to play there several times and it was always so intense. It was an honour to play amid such incredible noise.”
Celtic face Midtjylland at Parkhead in the Champions League second qualifying round on Tuesday – so it likely won’t be long before Furuhashi gets a taste of that atmosphere for himself.