Clubs and fans alike have paid tribute to former Celtic star Mikael Lustig on the final appearance of his professional career.
Lustig’s final club AIK Stockholm lost his swansong match against Elfborg 1-0, leaving them in 5th place in the final 2022 Allsvenskan table, outside the European qualifying spots.
However, both AIK and their support still took the opportunity to give the former Paradise favourite a fitting send-off for his retirement.
A tweet posted by Twitter user @otienosficka shows the fans’ banner, which reads (Translated using DeepL Translate): “Madness and animal hatred. Mikael Lustig: unforgettable AIK soldier”, with the AIK supporters using the opportunity to have a dig at their local rivals Djurgardens, as well as honour the the 35-year-old.
The club held a presentation after the match for Lustig as well as former Sunderland star Sebastian Larsson and long-serving defender Per Karlsson who also both played the final match of their professional careers today.
The game was also notable for the sending off of former Celt John Guidetti for two yellow cards, the 30-year-old striker was a hit in Ronny Deila’s first season in 2014-15 on loan from Manchester City, and joined Lustig in Stockholm in the summer following the expiration of his contract at Alaves.
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Never one to shy away from conflict, Lustig’s final match was marked in typical fashion with a booking for dissent after Guidetti’s sending off.
Celtic also posted their own video tribute to their former defender, who turned out 273 times for the Hoops across eight trophy-laden seasons, scoring 21 goals in the process, and famously assisting Odsonne Edouard’s Scottish Cup Final winner in his final match to seal the Treble Treble.
Fitting tributes for a wonderful servant
Whilst perhaps not the most flashiest footballer, Lustig took to Celtic from day one, and played his part in some monumental moments in the club’s modern history, playing in all three treble-winning cup finals, as well as in the famous victory over Barcelona to mark Celtic’s 125th anniversary.
He was also, of course, an invincible, and enjoyed some spectacular moments in Glasgow derbies, with the iconic police hat celebration in the melee after James Forrest’s goal in the 5-0 win to seal the title in 2017-18 trumped only by his own magnificent solo goal at Ibrox in 2016-17 to seal the second 5-1 victory over Rangers that season.
A cult hero for good reason, doubtlessly all connected with Celtic will join the club in wishing Lustig a happy retirement, after what’s been a stellar career for such a wonderful servant.