The Best Players in the History of Celtic FC

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When it comes to world football and the incredible history of Celtic FC, there simply aren’t enough superlatives to go around. The club has found success at home in Scotland and abroad in European competition, which is no small feat.

The Bhoys have won the Scottish Premiership no less than 52 times, including nine in a row between 2011 and 2020. As well as that, the club has won the Scottish Cup on 40 occasions and the Scottish League Cup a further 20 times.

Their crowning moment came way back in 1966/67, when Celtic won the European Cup for the first and only time in their history, becoming the first team in the history of British football to be called Champions of Europe.

As if that wasn’t enough, Celtic are the current champions of Scotland.

They held off a late charge from their arch rivals last season to win the title by just four points, earning a return to the UEFA Champions League for the first time in five years in the process. An online sportsbook, Bovada, where you can place soccer bet online USA, have made the Bhoys in Green the favourites to retain the championship this season.

Greatest players from the glory days

To kick things off, there’s no better way than to start with legendary goalkeeper Packie Bonner. A fan favourite during his time at Celtic Park, the Irishman made over 450 appearances at Celtic Park. He was known for his unwavering confidence when strikers were bearing down on his goal and his ability to keep his clean sheets.

Next on the list is midfielder Paul McStay. His incredible vision made him one of the most feared midfielders in Europe during the late 80s and early 90s. McStay regularly chipped in with goals from midfield, supplementing the output of the strikers ahead of him. Celtic was the only club McStay ever played for during his career, making 678 appearances for the club throughout a 16-year spell at Parkhead, netting 72 times in the process.

Away from the game, Paul was an ambassador for the club, appearing on TV and radio shows and taking part in charity events. He has continued to remain close to the club, watching matches and attending events to support his beloved Celtic.

No mention of the club’s greatest players would be complete without the great Henrik Larsson. The ‘King of Kings’ as he was oftentimes referred to, Larsson scored 242 goals in just 313 appearances during his time at the club and won multiple league trophies. He still stands as a hero to many Celtic fans, and it’s no wonder, considering his goals led the Celts to their first European final in over 30 years back in 2003, eventually losing to Jose Mourinho’s Porto.

Finally, the last player to make our list of all-time greats is Lubomír Moravcík. The Slovakian midfielder won multiple league titles during his four-year stay at Celtic Park, and his tenacious performances on the pitch quickly endeared him to fans, earning him the nickname of ‘the Little Magician’. 

Recent heroes

In recent years, there is one man that stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to Celtic footballing heroes.

That man is Scott Brown.

The tenacious midfielder epitomised everything the Bhoys faithful wanted to see in a player.

Dedicated, hard-working, and as tough as old boots.

The Scotsman arrived from Hibernian for a fee of £4.4m back in 2007 and went on to become the club captain. He made 619 appearances at Parkhead, scoring 46 goals and picking up a whopping 145 yellow cards in the process. As well as that, Brown went on to lift the Scottish Premiership ten times during his 14 years in Glasgow, as well as six Scottish Cups and Six Scottish League Cups.

Another player that endeared himself to the Celtic faithful was Japanese maestro Shinsuke Nakamura.

The Yokohama-born star played for the club between 2005 and 2009 and quickly established his left foot as one of the best in world football. He scored 34 goals throughout his 166 appearances at Celtic Park, including scoring one of the finest goals in the club’s history – a last-minute 30-yard free-kick that secured a crucial victory against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League.

French striker Odsonne Édouard also became a hero at Celtic Park.

The pacey striker arrived at the club from Paris Saint-Germain – initially on loan – in 2017.

The Frenchman netted 88 goals during his 179 appearances for the club, and was their top scorer in each full season he played for in the famous green and white hoops. He moved south of the border to Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day last August for a fee that could rise as high as £18.5m and has scored 10 goals during his time in London.

Photo by Unsplash

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