Celtic FC is one of the most well-known and successful clubs in Europe. Due to their history and rich pedigree, the Glasgow-based club has been able to attract diverse talents from across the globe over the years. Celtic have had quite a fair number of Asians on their books. The first Asian players to play for Celtic was Indian attacker Mohammed Salim. He played two friendlies for Celtic in the 1930s. He also became the first player from the Indian sub-continent to play for a European club. Since then Celtic have signed a host of Asian players.
However, here are the top 5 Asian players who played for Celtic.
1. Cha Du-ri
The versatile former South Korean international joined the Bhoys in 2010 and played two seasons with the Scottish giants. Du-ri featured in 31 Scottish Premier League games during his time at Celtic Park. He scored two league goals. The right-back won the SPL (2011-2012) and Scottish cup (2010-2011) during his time with the Celts.
2. Shunsuke Nakamura
The talented Japanese midfielder spent four fruitful seasons at Celtic, where his silky and eye for goal made him a firm fan favorite. Nakamura played about 128 SPL matches over the course of his time with the Hoops, managing to find the back of the net 29 times. The expert setpiece taker is considered one of the best foreign players to have played in Scotland.
Shunsuke won the league 3 times with Celtic as well as one Scottish cup, and two Scottish League cups. Individually the Japanese midfielder was named Scottish Writers and Scottish Players’ player of the year for the 2006-2007 season. He was voted the same season as the Celtic player of the year undoubtedly making him the most successful Asian player with the Celts.
3. Kyogo Furuhashi
The 26-year-old is currently on the books of Celtic after he joined them in the summer of 2021 on a four deal for a £4.6 million transfer. The striker has so far scored 8 goals in 14 appearances for the Hoops, including a hat-trick against fellow SPL side Dundee United.
4. Zheng Zhi
Zheng transferred to Scottish Premier League side Celtic on in September 2009. The Chinese international spent just one season at Celtic Park. Zheng played 16 games during his brief spell managing to score just the solitary goal. The midfielder is the only Chinese that has actually played an official league match for them even though he’s the second one to be on their books. Former Shanghai Shenhua captain, Du Wei was the first Chinese player signed by Celtic, but he was loaned back to Shanghai Shenhua after making a single appearance in the Scottish Cup third round tie against Clyde.
5. Ki Sung-yueng
The 32-year-old South Korean international featured for the boys two seasons between 2010-2012. Ki joined Celtic from South Korean club FC Seoul in early January of 2010. Sung-yuneng played 66 league matches finding the back of the net 9 times. The midfielder also won silverware during his time with Celtic. He has a Scottish Premier League (2011/2012), and Scottish Cup (2010/2011) winners medal to his name.
Other Asian players who are currently playing for Celtic include Japanese midfielder Reo Hatate. The former Kawasaki Frontale player joined the Hoops on 31 December 2021, and has been impressive at the club.
Yosuke Ideguchi, who was formerly on the books of Leeds United. The central midfielder joined Celtic from Gamba Osaka along with Hatate in December.
Daizen Maeda is plays Celtic on loan from J1 League side Yokohama F. Marinos. At the time of this writing, Maeda has scored 2 goals in four league appearances for Celtic.