JOHN HARTSON has joined club legend John ‘Yogi’ Hughes in shooting down reports from former Ibrox players that their old club’s achievement of reaching the Europa League Final has eclipsed Celtic’s feat of conquering Europe in 1967.
The Welsh striking icon slammed the suggestions as Giovanni von Bronckhorst’s side prepare to take on Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville this evening.
Hughes, the Hoops’ seventh-highest scorer with 189 goals, called the comparison “laughable,’ as CQN reported earlier this month.
PICK IT OUT…John Hartson wallops the winner beyond keeper Stefan Klos at Ibrox in October 2003.
Former striker Kenny Miller made the outrageous comments and ex-midfielder Kevin Thomson has backed his one-time colleague by insisting a victory for the Govan outfit would be “bigger” than that of Jock Stein’s team on May 25 1967 in Lisbon when they lifted the European Cup with a 2-1 triumph over Inter Milan to become the first British club to win the coveted silverware.
Hartson said: “This is not a debate. It’s not even a topic of discussion.
“You cannot compare any team winning the Europa League to winning the Champions League.
“When Celtic won the European Cup in 1967 they became the first British team to do it. Not only did they bring the European Cup back home from Lisbon, they did it with 11 Scotsman in the starting line-up.
“That will never, ever be done again.”
NINETY MINUTES FROM GLORY…Billy McNeill exchanges pennants with Inter Milan captain Armando Picchi before Celtic’s glorious and historic 2-1 triumph in Lisbon on May 25 1967.
Hartson, speaking to the Go Radio Football Show, added: “I’ve gone on record and said it’s a wonderful achievement, Rangers even getting to the Europa League Final. I wish them well, I really do.
“But are we talking Sevilla, they have won the Europa League six times, is that then bigger than winning the Champions League? It’s not.
“I like Kevin, but to suggest that this would be bigger than winning the European Cup is wrong.”