FORMER Celtic defender Ramon Vega has urged Brendan Rodgers’ players to be inspired as they surge towards the domestic clean sweep this season.
Only two Hoops managers – Jock Stein, twice, and Martin O’Neill – have achieved the feat in the club’s 129-year history.
Now the former Swiss international, who enjoyed a treble success at Parkhead in season 2000/01, has told Scott Brown and Co to enjoy their football on their way to becoming legends.
Vega, who arrived in Glasgow on loan from Spurs in mid-December and scored two goals in a 6-0 win over Aberdeen on his debut, said: “You don’t realise in the middle of the season what is happening.
“You are so wrapped up in things and the games around the turn of the year are coming really fast.
“But once you get one trophy on the board and you get close to a second, you start to think about it.
“After we had won the League Cup and had a lead in the league, it started to fully register.
“Then you look into the history and tradition of the club and start to realise the relevance of it all, what you could actually achieve and the feeling starts to get really exciting.
“Suddenly, you want to get it done and, in my experience, it takes a player to another level and it doesn’t put any added pressure on to the team.
“For me, it inspires individuals. It makes them grow and become even better. That’s what it did for us.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, possibly, so it works the opposite from the way pressure does.
“It works to take you to even greater heights. If a player does not react in that manner, he’s not really at the right club.”
Vega, now 45, added: “We had a sense of a team under Martin O’Neill. We fought for each other. We won and lost as a team.
“When you have that togetherness, then you have the extra quality in the likes of Henrik Larsson and Chris Sutton to make the difference, the same way as the likes of Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair are doing it now.
“Now they can do something amazing and I can speak from experience.
“They must grasp it because, without a doubt, I look back on it as my greatest achievement in the game.
“When anyone speaks to me about my footballing memories, winning a treble with Celtic in that season is top of the list.”
Vega played in central defence in the 3-0 League Cup Final success over Kilmarnock when 10-man Celts – after Sutton had been red-carded – routed the Rugby Parkers with Larsson hitting a hat-trick.
The Swede was on target twice later in the season as the Hoops conquered Hibs 3-0 in the Scottish Cup Final with Jackie McNamara claiming the opener.
And the title was clinched with five games remaining when Tommy Johnson netted the only goal of the game against St Mirren at Parkhead.
Surprisingly, Vega didn’t remain at Parkhead after the end of the campaign. Terms could not be met and he returned to White Hart Lane before joining Watford.
O’Neill then brought in a guy called Bobo Balde!