John Hartson picks three former Celtic stars who'd play alongside him in 'one last match'

John Hartson has named three former Celtic team-mates he’d love to have alongside him if he were granted the opportunity to play one final game.

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 7:00 am
John Hartson at a charity match at Parkhead in 2014. Picture: SNS
John Hartson at a charity match at Parkhead in 2014. Picture: SNS

The ex-Welsh international striker appeared on the One Last Match podcast to look back on his career and name his dream XI of footballers he’d played with.

Hartson featured alongside such illustrious names as Tony Adams, Ryan Giggs and Dennis Bergkamp, to name a few, but he has a special place in his heart for Martin O’Neill’s Celtic side and named three of them in the XI.

Celtic: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

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He said: “The central [midfielder] would be Roy Keane. I played with him at Celtic. He was 35 and he was way past his best, which he’d admit himself, but to play with Roy was just fantastic. He would never give the ball away.

"What surprised me a little bit was that he never dictated things. He never lost his rag. But he had standards. When he was on the pitch you knew he was there.

"On the right of the three I would put Stiliyan Petrov. I could have put Paul Merson, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, but Stiliyan was special: just his work rate, his guts, his heart, his desire. He had everything. The greatest Bulgarian of all time, Hristo Stoichkov, actually paid that accolade to Stiliyan.

"I could have put that whole Celtic team in. I have such admiration of them. But Stiliyan was different class.”

It should come as no surprise that Hartson also selected a freescoring Celtic legend as part of his forward line, while also picking him as the player he’d want beside him on the bus going to the game.

He continued: "Alongside me would be the two greatest players I’ve ever shared a pitch with and that’s Dennis Bergkamp and Henrik Larsson.

“Some of the goals [Dennis] used to score were incredible and I could say the same for Henrik Larsson: great finisher, 250 goals in 315 games for Celtic, record goalscorer for his country, phenomenal in that run to the Uefa Cup final, scored the winning goal in the semi-final, scored twice in the final.

"I’ve never seen a player idolised and worshipped by a fanbase as much as Henrik is worshipped by the Celtic fans. The appreciation they have for him is incredible.”

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