Henrik Larsson’s Bhoys

After seven seasons wearing the famous green and white hoops, Henrik Larsson left Glasgow as Celtic’s third highest ever goalscorer, and one of the club’s most enduring icons.

You’d be hard pressed to come up with a Bhoys player – outside of Kenny Dalglish, or any number of Jock Stein’s all-conquering Lisbon Lions of 1967 – with whom Celtic fans were more besotted.

It’s difficult to think of anyone in the whole of Scottish football who has reached such heights over the last twenty-five years. The striker hit the sort of numbers that are usually the preserve of only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and if some took that as evidence he was too good for the SPL, Larsson had other ideas.

The Swede repeatedly turned down more lucrative offers to stay with the club so dear to his heart, and even after he was finally lured away by Barcelona in 2004, the Celitc Park faithful couldn’t really begrudge him a shot at the Champions League (which he duly lifted in Paris two years later).

Given all of that, you might be surprised to learn that Larsson began his Celtic career, way back in 1997, in pretty inauspicious fashion. Introduced as a second-half sub away at Hibs, with the game tied at 1-1, Wim Jansen’s new signing made a calamitous pass which ended with the home side scoring the winning goal.

And here are the other thirteen Celtic squad players on the day who performed a collective face-palm.

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Given that most of these players didn’t have half the talent Larsson did, it’s probably fair to say the Swede quickly got over the embarrassment of gifting the opposing team a goal in his Celtic bow.

Whatever became of their careers, though, they can take a crumb of comfort from the fact that they were there when one of the Hoops’ favourite sons took his first steps in green and white.

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