That the pair are on the same wavelength in a footballing context isn’t open to question following the on-loan Benfica wide man’s glorious 50-yard pass for the Japanese striker to produce a sublime finish in Tuesday’s victory over Ferencvaros. Jota is so keen that the 26-year-old feels just at home with him off the pitch, though, he literally wants to speak the same language as the £4.6m purchase from Vissel Kobe.
“I’m starting to get to know Kyogo and his movements are unbelievable,” said the perfect-English speaking Portuguese, who has been a revelation across his two months in Scotland. Indeed, his effervescent display in the Europa League success over the Hungarians earned him a seventh goal contribution - three from his own boot - in only nine games. “He really can move, he’s one of the best players I’ve seen doing movements. I saw his move and I wanted to do the pass. It was good because he scored, he did a really good reception.
“[But] unfortunately Kyogo doesn’t speak English so it’s been quite difficult [to establish an off-field friendship]. Actually, it’s funny because I said to Kyogo if he didn’t learn English then it’s no worries because I will try to learn some Japanese so we can talk. I will definitely go to learn some Japanese to speak with him but I think the most important thing is inside the pitch we are starting to get to know each other. Game after game we are going to get better. That’s something very important because we are all new. We didn’t know each other and it’s crucial we learn throughout the games. Like a family we need to stick together and keep doing our thing.”
The growing sense of fraternity between Celtic’s manager and his players and their fanbase is also becoming unmistakable. It was nothing short of astonishing that 50,000 supporters made their way along to the Parkhead arena for a victory that has breathed life into the club’s Europa League campaign considering the - expected - deadening enforced scheduling that required the encounter to kick-off at 3.30pm on a Tuesday. Postecoglou and his players have seemed genuinely humbled by the vibrant backing they received in such highly unusual, and unpromising, circumstances. The 22-year-old considers his switch to Celtic has allowed him the opportunity to experience such occasions that he considers without parallel.
“I would like for every football fan just to experience a game in Celtic Park,” Jota said. “I’m telling this to my family and my friends because it is definitely something different. You feel things about football that you don’t feel in other places. The atmosphere against Ferencvaros speaks for itself. It’s an afternoon, most people have to work and the stadium is full. They have to come from their jobs or they are skipping, I don’t know! They make the effort to come to our games and enjoy them and we are grateful.”