Posted on Thursday, 1st March 2012 by lordofthewing
I suspect that he didnae want it all to end on a training pitch in Zagreb after an innocent collision wie a team mate wie ZLATAN hovering near by (as ZLATAN always does!). He was probably looking at a June date in the Olympic Stadium, Keiv wie two times winners Les Blues as a fitting end to his international career.
Now, a stroke of bad luck (or “Life’s a bitch” as he called it) will see Big Dan Majstorovic spend 8 months out the gemme, miss out to represent his country in the summer and maybe – just maybe – end his Celtic career wieoot kicking another ba’ for us.
Which is a damn shame.
Not that we will miss him no, what Dan brought to us we no longer need. He was brought in last season as a bit of experience and a father figure to the young dudes in the changing room. He was never the best centre-back in the world.
His history of journey-man ship all around Europes far flung lower rung told you that. But….STILL..some bemoaned his deficiencies as if they were surprised. Two league titles (1 in Sweden & 1 in Swizterland) and a Swiss Cup were his haul before he joined us but his cap total for Sweden gave the impression that he could be something different.
You see us and Sweden have been good together (Ljunberg apart). Problem was that Sweden are a decent unit wie a no frills defending policy wie no history of sieve like behaviour no matter who plays in the centre of defence for them.
As the Swedes progressed to Euro 2012 as the best group runner up Big Dan played in 9 out of the 10 gemme’s and was superman like in Sweden’s 3-2 win over World Cup Finalists (and now total anti anti football thugs) Holland. This was a gemme I managed to catch on a re-run on Eurosport sometime after.
I was like HOW?
Was this the same player who inexplicably handled the ba’ in the Scottish Cup Final, had a nightmare up the Senkie and cost us any hope of a memorable and rare away win in Sion with a 42 second sending off after getting caught like a nipper having an afternoon nap.
This limited centre back was going to be facing some of Europes finest this summer and I was proud that when he was being mentioned in ALL press stuff our club would get an airing. Mikael Lustig will still give us that honour for any game involving the Blagult.
That’s what is great aboot an international tournament (apart from watching some of the worlds best players constantly for a month or 3 weeks!). Seeing your wee team mentioned to millions and you sitting on yer couch hoping they don’t make effing dicks of themselves!
We have had a love affair wie Sweden since 1997. I had a love affair wie Sweden from before that and also why I love our players being in these tournaments was before that.
Before Euro 1988 my only memory was of Platini holding aloft the Henry Delaunay in 84. Qualifying for Germany 88 saw Scotland in the same group as the Republic Of Ireland. This was the first time that I could remember Scotland facing the country that our support flew the flag off. It was a confusing time for a 12 year old who owned every Scotland top since 1982.
In a strange twist of fate Scotland scored a 1-0 away win in Bulgaria, which saw the Republic qualify from an incredible tight group (ROI 11 points, Bulgaria 10 points, Belgium 9 Points, Scotland 9 POINTS! & Luxembourg 1 point). Ireland drew England and an obsession began with Celts in International competitions.
Apart from waking up every morning straining at the leash to watch footage of rioting and then deported Engurland fans on BBC Breakfast , Irelands 1-0 win over England in Stuttgarts Neckarstadion would be remembered for Bonner v Future Face Of Walkers Crisps and One Of The Top Strikers In The World At The Time with Big Packie winning handsomely.
Sweden 1992, saw the host nation inflict another defeat on England. Baby Faced Podgy Hitman Thomas Brolin announced his arrival and my interest in Sweden though that tournament saw The Maestro score Scotland’s first goal EVER in a Euro’s finals in Scotland’s 3-1 win over the CIS in Norrkoping. Scotland’s second goal was scored by my boyhood hero Brian McClair. That was a good day.
Euro 96 was a disappointment. Jorge Cadette did nothing as did Tom Boyd and Tosh McKinlay. But…from then on we always came back to Sweden in major tournaments. Like Ulrika Johnson who has also proved value for money – in those quiet times over the years – the Swedes are an interesting and worthwhile soft spot.
Euro 2000: Johan and Henrik both scored goals but they finished bottom of their group. World Cup 2002 saw Larsson score a brace against Nigeria, then in the last 16 scored he opening goal but the Swedes were defeated by Senegal. A certain H Camara scoring.
In Portugal 2004 saw the most dramatic gemme I have witnessed in a tournament. The prolific and frankly enjoyable Larsson had already scored a double in a 5-0 win over Stan Petrov’s sorry Bulgars when in a meeting of the Scandinavian *ld F*rm where a 2-2 each draw would see Italy go out. I watch this gemme in Santa Ponsa. Denmark led 2-1 before the Swedes scored a fortunate equaliser. I will never forget the Italians wailing like a thousand mothers sending their sons to war.
That led to a Henrik v Little Dick quarter final. A long boring gemme was eventually killed via the penalty shoot out. The Dutch went against the grain and won. Instantly forgettable but at least no Celts made themselves look stupid.
There has been others off course. I will keep them for later as we do have a whole summer of International football. Though over the last few years The Holy Goalies Euro 2008 performance plus Big Sammy’s marauding performance against Argentina in 2010 and my worthwhile afternoon off to watch the Nakamura v Viduka match up from the Fritz-Walter-Stadion in Kaiserslautern in which the Aussies may have won the gemme BUT Naka scored the opening goal hence winning the battle are praticular stand outs.
I dislike international friendlies (and WE HAVE BEEN done by them again) but when the big boys get together for the summer….I get a bit geeky.
Once this season is over I can’t wait to see what illogic reasoning I can map to Euro 2012’s fixture watching. It looks like I will be in Spain for their gemme against Ireland. Cool, that’s McGeady v Novo sorted then.