Imminent Celtic arrival Josip Juranovic admits he played through pain barrier for Legia farewell

By Euan Davidson

August 21, 2021

Imminent Celtic arrival Josip Juranovic admits he played through the pain to say goodbye to Legia Warsaw supporters.

The Croatia international, who only signed for the Polish club last year, wanted to play against Slavia Prague before coming to Celtic. And how he did, scoring a belter of a goal on his final Legia appearance.

The right-back lit up the Europa League qualifiers on Thursday night. He took the ball from well within his own half, marauded up the pitch, and hit a beautifully struck shot past the despairing Slavia goalkeeper.

To do that, he had to take painkillers and play through pain. Juranovic said [via Daily Record]:

“To score that goal in my final match will be something I remember for the rest of my life. And it was probably the best goal I have ever scored in my career so it was a fun way to say goodbye.

“Some players take different approaches when they know they are definitely leaving. Some guys don’t want to play in case they get injured. I could never do that.

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“So yes, I had an injury before the game, but I wanted to play despite the pain and took painkillers.”

Classy stuff from the Croat. Not only that, he’s divulged that Celtic fan favourite Artur Boruc helped him make his mind up on a move, saying [Daily Record]:

“Celtic are a great club, it’s a step forward for me. So from this point of view, I had no doubts.

“I spoke to Artur Boruc after the last game, I know he’s a legend in Celtic. I will try to get at least close to what he achieved there.”

Josip Juranovic certainly has the right attitude to play for Celtic under Ange Postecoglou

Should Celtic have insisted on Legia not starting Juranovic for Thursday night’s game? That’s your own call to make. There’s been a strange, possibly charitable approach from Celtic this summer, in that regard.

Ange Postecoglou said farewell to Yokohama F Marinos fans. Former Vissel Kobe man Kyogo Furuhashi hit the back of the net on his last game in the J-League. Liam Scales, too, thumped in a header for Shamrock Rovers the other night, and he’s expected at Celtic Park relatively soon [Irish Mirror].

Photo by Mattia Ozbot – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

By the sounds of it, Juranovic is carrying a knock. Whether he’s fit in time for Ibrox is its own drama, but Anthony Ralston has done a fine job.

The bigger point, perhaps, is that Juranovic’s attitude is exemplary. He clearly has a connection with Legia Warsaw fans, and wanted to leave on a positive note.

That’s the kind of mindset that’ll serve him well with Celtic supporters. If he’s got a few more 30-yard screamers in him, though, that’ll help too.

Read more: The Celtic Academy graduate who has to be on cusp of senior call-up