The Bhoys’ Champions League campaign got off to a ferocious start thanks to their fearless tactics which saw them take the game to the current champions, despite eventually losing 3-0.
One player who shone in the game against Real Madrid was Hatate, who commanded the midfield for the Scottish giants up against the sizeable midfield of Modric, Toni Kroos, and Aurelien Tchouameni.
The Japanese ace showed his vast passing ability with a first-time volleyed pass to winger Jota around the seventh minute and then came close with a deflected shot that nearly looped into the net.
His impressive form caught the eye of Walker, who took to Twitter to praise Hatate for his ability, comparing him to his opposite number in Modric, who won the Ballon d’Or in 2018 after taking Croatia to the World Cup final and won the Champions League with Los Blancos.
Reo Hatate is great to watch. Touch of Modric about him in this company.
— Michael Walker (@mwalker2771) September 6, 2022
TIF Thoughts on Hatate…
Hatate has proven himself to be an important cog in Ange Postecoglou’s plans for Celtic moving forward after featuring in four of their Scottish Premier League games this season and being given the opportunity to start against Madrid.
During the 69 minutes he played, Hatate picked up 52 touches of the ball with a 79% passing accuracy (34/43), including two successful long balls from his three attempts. The 24-year-old also picked up a shot on target and won one of his three ground duels while chipping in with a tackle as well (as per Sofascore). But it is clear from Walker’s claim that there was more to his performance than just his stats.
Despite playing against the current European champions and losing the match, Celtic and Hatate played a brave game, going out to attack and to win rather than sitting back all game and parking the bus.
This allowed fans across the world to see their potential, and Hatate showed at just 24, he went toe-to-toe with the world’s best. We think there is plenty more to come from him and it is going to be exciting to watch his journey at Celtic, and who knows, maybe he will end up like Modric in the years to come.
Will Hatate shine this season?