Celtic and their array of Japanese stars visit Japan to take on Yokohama F·Marinos

Celtic and their array of Japanese stars visit Japan to take on Yokohama F·Marinos

Celtic are one of the most decorated clubs in the sport with over 100 trophies to their name and, in recent years, they have taken a shine to Japanese players. Now, they are coming to Japan, with their cadre of Meiji Yasuda J.League alums in tow for friendlies against Yokohama F·Marinos and Gamba Osaka.

The fun kicks off on Wednesday when the Scottish giants and Marinos meet at Nissan Stadium.

The match will be a big event for Tomoki Iwata and Daizen Maeda, who starred for the Tricolor before moving to Celtic.

Iwata’s starring role in Marinos blue came as recently as last November. He was finishing off a phenomenal season that saw him win J1 MVP honors and lift the ultimate trophy as the Tricolor conquered the league.

Maeda hasn’t played for Marinos since 2021, but he left a star too. The striker won J1 Top Scorer in his last season at the club, putting on a goal scoring clinic week in, week out.

Now, both players return to Yokohama as Celtic players. Iwata played 18 matches after joining the Scottish club in January, while Maeda has scored 19 goals in the green and white hoops.

Kyogo Furuhashi, the former Vissel Kobe man and last season’s Scottish Premier League Player of the Year, Kawasaki Frontale’s former star Reo Hatate and Vissel Kobe academy product Yuki Kobayashi also come back to Japan with the Bhoys, making for a great reunion at Nissan Stadium.

The match is also a clash of two countries’ best. While Celtic and their Japanese contingent won the treble last season, Marinos are the reigning J.League champions, making this a meeting of each country’s top clubs.

Best vs. best, stars returning home and a great celebration of the sport between clubs from opposite sides of the world. Celtic and Yokohama F·Marinos are going to give us a night to remember.