The almost forgotten hero of Celtic's last tie against Italian opposition

By John Reid

October 23, 2019

As Celtic prepare to take on Lazio in the Europa League on Thursday, it will be the Hoops’ first match against an Italian team since the last 32 Europa League clash against Inter Milan in 2015.

That might only be four years ago, but in football terms it seems like a long time ago for Celtic. The manager was Ronny Deila, who was in the first of two seasons in charge of the Hoops.

The Hoops ended up exiting the tournament 4-3 on aggregate. However, the first leg at Celtic Park was a six goal thriller, which ended in a 3-3 draw.

Hero has been almost forgotten about

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Celtic’s hero in that game, with a last-minute equaliser, is a player whose time at the club has been almost forgotten about – John Guidetti.

Perhaps the main reason for that is that he spent very little time at Celtic. He was only at the club for a year on loan from Manchester City.

He did relatively well for the Hoops in his time at the club, scoring 15 goals in 35 games for the club. The player helped the Hoops to a Premiership and League Cup double.

A fantastic goal

(Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/ActionPlus/Corbis via Getty Images)

However, his goal against Inter will go down as his finest moment in a Celtic jersey. With the clock approaching the 93rd minute, Guidetti swivelled in the penalty box and hooked a shot into the top corner of the net.

It truly was an excellent goal. Sadly a Virgil Van Dijk red card in the second leg of the tie contributed to a 1-0 loss and Celtic’s exit from the competition.

Guidetti is currently playing for Alaves in Spain, but he has been limited to few apperances this season. When he gets a run of games he can be a very good player, as shown in his time at Celtic.

However, it perhaps never seemed likely he would end up at Celtic on a full-time basis, and he returned to Manchester City at the end of his loan deal.

Hopefully another Celtic player can make their name with an important goal when the Hoops take on Lazio on Thursday.