SPL

SPL Import Icons: Henrik Larsson

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“In fact, he was my idol even before that. I remember him playing for Sweden in the 1994 World Cup. Henrik taught me a lot about football and I learned even more from him as a person. I was disappointed that he left for Sweden because I would have loved to have played with him for longer.” – Brazil and Barcelona legend Ronaldinho

Henrik Larsson signed for Scottish giants Celtic from Feyenoord in July 1997 for a fee of just £650,000.

It was far from a dream start for Larsson on his Celtic debut, against Hibernian at Easter Road, camping on as a late substitute, Larsson inadvertently passed the ball to Hibs player Chic Charnley, who scored, resulting in a 2–1 defeat for Celtic.

On his European debut for Celtic he scored an own goal, although Celtic did go on to win 6–3 against Austrian side Tirol Innsbruck.

From this point onward Larsson didn’t look back going on to score 17 goals in his first season and help Celtic win their first SPL title in 10 years, before becoming a legend at Celtic dubbed the King of Kings Larsson went on to score 242 goals in 315 games.

Key Moments

That goal in 6-2 win over Rangers

Larsson suffered a horrific broken leg in a UEFA Cup tie against Lyon in 1999 in what still to this day sends shivers down my spine when I view the clip, although not one to be kept down Larsson came back stronger, scoring 53 goals in the following 2000–01 season that saw him win the European Golden Boot.

That goal! Yes you know the one I meen, Martin O’Neil Old Firm debut as manager 3-1 up with Rangers taking over the game and threatening, Larsson produced a moment of magic, picking up the ball on the half way line Larsson dribbled past several players before dinking a beautiful chip with the outside of his right foot over the advancing keeper and set up Celtic for a emphatic 6-2 win over their fiercest rivals.

Achievements at Celtic

Scottish Premier Division/Scottish Premier League: 1997–98, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04

Scottish Cup: 2000–01, 2003–04

Scottish League Cup: 1997–98, 2000–01

UEFA Cup runner-up: 2002–03

Scottish Premier League Golden Boot: 1998–99, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04

SFWA Footballer of the Year: 1999, 2001

SPFA Players’ Player of the Year: 1999, 2001

Scottish Premier League Player of the Month: September 2000, November 2002

European Golden Boot: 2001

Scottish Football Hall of Fame

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James Rees is a Football, F1 and MMA writer, who strives to bring you the best content aswel as bringing you interviews with some of the sports top stars.