FORMER Hibs keeper Daniel Andersson has revealed the lengths Celtic went to in their efforts to lure Henrik Larsson as their new boss.
The ex-Swedish international, who is now a coach at Larsson’s Helsingborgs, insisted the Hoops were desperate to bring the club legend back to Parkhead to replace Neil Lennon in the summer.
He said: “When you consider that Celtic took a private jet and flew over the Sweden to try and convince him to come to Celtic I think that says it all, really.
“Everyone knows how he is thought of at the club. They even print jerseys with ‘God No 7’ on the back.
“I think a lot of Celtic supporters believe Henrik is one of the best players they have ever had there.
“But Henrik is very humble and he’s not the type of guy who brags even though he knows what he did there.
“I even played against him in Scotland for Hibs, so I know what it’s all about. I realise how big Henrik was out there at Celtic, but he never speaks about it in those terms.
“He knows what he’s done and he’s very cool about it.”
Larsson spent seven years at Parkhead after being signed by Wim Jansen from Feyenoord for a bargain £650,000 in 1997. He won four league titles and scored a remarkable 242 goals in 315 competitive games before moving to Barcelona.
Andersson also believes his compatriot will go on to become a managerial great.
The 43-year-old icon agreed a three-year deal to become manager of his old club in November after stints in the dug-out at Landskrona and Falkenberg.
His ex-international team-mate insisted Larsson’s experience of playing at some of the world’s biggest clubs will make him an attractive proposition to leading European teams.
He said: “I’m not surprised at how easily he has adapted to management because I have known Henrik for a while and I think it’s quite clear that he’s going places.
“He comes into the job with massive experience of the game at the very highest level.
“Of course, he has the international experience and the first-hand understanding how to handle the pressure that comes with a job like being a coach at a top club.
“When Henrik speaks, even the lightning stands still and everybody listens. He’s very clear about what he wants.
“It’s quite obvious that he is going places even as a coach. I would be very surprised if he is not contacted by some of the bigger clubs in Europe in the near future.”
Things turned out not too badly for Celtic however. Ronny Deila, who was being lined up as a number 2, impressed so much at the interview that the club decided to take a gamble and appoint him as Celtic’s new manager. After a difficult period at the beginning this has increasing looked like a very shrewd move by the Celtic board.
Maybe Henrik’s time will come. But not too soon!