Celtic winger Jota shares why he is extra-motivated for upcoming Rangers final

By John McGinley

February 20, 2023

Jota is making up for lost time this weekend in the Scottish League Cup final between Celtic and Rangers.

The Portuguese winger was injured for last season’s Hampden final against Hibernian and has told reporters of his frustration at sitting on the sidelines and not being able to take part.

Now fully fit and in fine form, he’s raring to go against Michael Beale’s side in one of the biggest matches of his career.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Jota’s final redemption and Celtic record vs Rangers

As quoted by The Sunday Post [20/02 print edition, Post Match supplement page 2], he said: “Last season I was not part of the cup final because I was injured. As a football player you always want to be involved in the biggest games. When that game is about trying to win a trophy you desperately want to be a part of that, I am no exception to wanting that.

“You always feel a bit frustrated, as I was on that day, but the boys did a great job to win that trophy. I had to watch the game from a distance but I was proud of all of them all and what they achieved. I tried to do my best to provide some support from the side and the energy was good.

“What I have to say is that every game is different. This will be a cup final and the mindset going into that game is to win, that’s the case for every game.”

Jota was one of Celtic’s top performers on Saturday, especially in the first half. Not only was he a consistent attacking threat, his defensive work-rate was exceptional for a winger.

If we get the same from him on Sunday, he’ll be a major asset in the quest for a cup win. We know he enjoys a game against Rangers – he has already scored against them twice in his Celtic career, including earlier this season in a 4-0 victory. He has lost just one of his six appearances against them.

Hopefully he’ll get the chance to celebrate a Hampden final victory as a contributor, rather than as a spectator.

In other news, “He let himself and his club down”; Yet another pundit takes apart Beale’s odd Celtic outbursts.