Moi Elyounoussi says he found himself at Celtic after dark times

By Euan Davidson

September 7, 2021

Former Celtic winger Mohamed Elyounoussi has told Norwegian outlet TV2 that after some rough times, he really found himself at Celtic.

The Norway international was a smash-hit in his first season at Celtic, after a rough spell at Southampton. In his second season, he still found the net. However, his form was patchy, with fans debating whether or not the club ought to keep him.

In the end, he went back to his parent club Southampton. Now, under Ralph Hassenhuttl, the former FC Basel winger is confident and amongst the goals [Guardian].

Someone who always carried himself as something of a gentle soul, Elyounoussi was definitely impacted by a lack of fans at games. His form in the first campaign, as well as his celebrations, showed a real affection for the club.

And it was at the club that, Elyounoussi says, he found his confidence and happiness again.

He told TV2:

“I was quite bitter about leaving Celtic” | 67HH sits down with Jackie McNamara

“I was quite bitter about leaving Celtic” | 67HH sits down with Jackie McNamara
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“When people see a football player, they see the glamorous life, the goals we score and that everything is good. But it also has a downside with heavy nights and days. You can feel a little alone sometimes. Then it’s about having the right people around you.

“I have been mentally tested on how strong you are and should never give up. It was tough, but I am happy with the experience at Celtic, where I found myself and gained confidence.”

Mohamed Elyounoussi seems grateful to Celtic after two-year stint

It’s great to hear this from Elyounoussi.

Mental illness in football still has an overarching, ridiculous stigma attached to it. The horrific treatment suffered by David Cox shows we still have so, so far to come [BBC].

Elyounoussi’s right. Unhappiness doesn’t discriminate. People from all walks of life can either live with, or go through spells of, any number of mental health conditions.

Whether or not we’re talking in such stark terms with Elyounoussi, it’s clear that he was having a rough time prior to joining Celtic on loan. However, with the support of the club and supporters, the smile was put back on Elyounoussi’s face.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

That’s important. Whether you rated him or not in a Celtic shirt, it’s important to remember the humanity that’s lost in football far too often. What’s more, the global aspect of football means that professionals need to travel alone, to places they’ve never been before, and hit the ground running for fans to get onside.

That’s a lot to ask of anyone, let alone someone with such a public job. So, it’s heartening to hear that the support of Celtic Football Club really benefitted someone, who ended up scoring and assisting more than his fair share for us.

In other news: Could new Bhoy be in for weekend debut?