Who would have thought that a half-time altercation inside Celtic Park in 2004 would have such amazing consequences 16 years later.
As former Hoops goalkeeper David Marshall entered the fray in that UEFA Cup clash against Barcelona, few could have predicted that he would lead Scotland to Euro 2020 all those years later.
Of course, lots happened in that decade and a half since – but football has a funny way of working out.
And it’s not just me who had that crazy thought once all the hullabaloo from Thursday night died down. Some other Celtic fans did too.
A few chose to mock former Barcelona star Thiago Motta, and an incident that would begin a journey for Marshall to become a national hero.
If Rab Douglas hadn't got sent off against Barcelona 16 years ago, David Marshall's career might never have taken off. Wolfgang Stark, cheers for last night big man 👍
— Andy Coghill (@AndyCoghill1) November 13, 2020
I think we can all agree the real hero of the night is Thiago Motta for getting Rab Douglas sent off in 2004
— Stephen (@StephenP1888) November 12, 2020
It seems like only a few years ago Scotland Today reported live from outside David Marshall’s Mum & Dads house after his Barcelona Heroics at the start of his career.
— Graham A (@graham1A) November 13, 2020
16yrs ago at start of his football career – David Marshall's heroics denied Barcelona a goal home or away, for Celtic to go through. Martin O Neill (I think) told him he wouldn't top the Camp Nou performance.
Reckon he did last night. 🏴😁👍🏴 pic.twitter.com/tBjheywfWr
— Angus B MacNeil MP (@AngusMacNeilSNP) November 13, 2020
David Marshall has always delivered ever since that day Rab Douglas accidentally got sent off against Barcelona. Wonderful player. ❤️
— Gav Maclean (@gavmaclean) November 12, 2020
Will never forget David Marshall’s penalty save(whole performance really) v Barcelona. Over 16 years later and he’s still doing it. What a man.
— Alan McGee (@McGeeAlan) November 13, 2020
Mind Martin Oneill joked that David Marshall should retire after that game against Barcelona because he would never top it, well he’s only gone and done it 🏴
— Stephen (@S11PC1) November 13, 2020
David Marshall saving the vital penalty last night, over 16 years since he was thrown in against Barcelona as a teenager. we all knew he was a good keeper then and he still is. pic.twitter.com/1Ry7PaR8sC
— Lisbon Lion (@Tirnaog10) November 13, 2020
Just think- If you’d just let Bobo vaporise Thiago Motta none of this might have happened!
— Martin McGarvey Art (@McGarveyArt) November 13, 2020
Should Celtic have moved for Marshall?
Marshall was in unbelievable form for Scotland on Thursday night.
On top of saving Aleksandar Mitrovic’s decisive penalty, he also produced a world-class stop in extra-time to get his country to the shoot-out.
Many Celtic fans may now ponder whether we should have moved to bring in Marshall in the summer – as he left relegated Wigan Athletic.
Marshall may have been a solid choice. But at 35, he doesn’t have too many years left in him.
Vasilis Barkas could be our keeper for the next five years if he finds his form and adjusts to life in Glasgow.
Let’s just hope he can do that, and we don’t have to bemoan not signing Scotland’s hero for too much longer.