16 years ago today, a cameo performance from Henrik Larsson just after the hour mark, brought Barcelona their second Champions League title. His two assists were enough to overcome the lead 10-man Arsenal held.
Celtic fans celebrated that title as that win ensured we gained entry to the following season’s Champions League group stage without having to endure the qualification rounds. As a consequence, the club booked two summer tours, one to the USA and one to Japan, each earning multi-million pound pay cheques. A year earlier, the best on offer was perfunctory warm-up games against Fulham, Leicester and Leeds.
The commercial department has already lined up a lucrative Australian tour for the World Cup break later this year. After media coverage of the tile win in Australia this week, the optics of that tour now look great. The challenge now is to fill dates in July and August with similar earners
Much of the world is still slumbering from post-lockdown blues, which has dampened appetite for the commercial risk surrounding events. Still, the earning opportunities from pre-qualification is a substantial benefit to a club like Celtic.
Can you name the two who started that Barcelona-Arsenal Champions League final and who also played for Celtic?