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 EX-CELT KAZIM-RICHARDS’ LION SHOCKER

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FORMER Celtic striker Colin Kazim-Richards has revealed he is finding life with new club Brazilian club Coritiba a little surprising.

The Turkish international forward admitted he went to a local pet shop to buy a dog – and was offered a LION, instead!

Kazim-Richards was signed by ex-Hoops boss Ronny Deila in February from Dutch giants Feyenood, but he quit for South America in the summer.

The 30-year-old frontman, who has also played in England, Turkey, France and Greece, is still settling into life in the latest country on his travels.

He said: “I went to buy a dog and the shop owner said: ‘Kazim, I have something for you’.

“So, I went in the back of the shop and he had lions, tigers and chimpanzees in there.

“He wanted £22,000 for a lion! Obviously, I was never going to buy one, but I thought I should jokingly say: ‘Yeah, I’ll have a lion’.

“For a moment, the guy wasn’t sure if I was serious. It was crazy!”

London-born Kazim-Richards, who scored only two goals in 13 appearances for the Parkhead side, also insisted he is still a Celtic fan, despite just a whirlwind four months at the Scottish champions.

He said: “Before I went to Glasgow, there was interest from Brazil, but it didn’t materialise.

“Then Celtic came up and you can’t really turn them down.

“I’ve seen some people suggest that Brendan Rodgers said he didn’t want me, but it wasn’t like that.

“My heart was set on going to Brazil and that is no disrespect to Celtic at all because I support them.

“In the end, I had quite a few options in Brazil and Coritiba called Alex [former Brazilian international who played for Chelsea]to get a reference on me.

“He doesn’t mince his words. That is why we get along.”

Kazim-Richards, who lives with his Brazilian wife Mariana and their two children in the state of Parana, got off to the best possible start with Coritiba.

He agreed an 18-month deal and celebrated by scoring a goal against Atletico Paranaense on his debut.

Amazingly, they are 12th club he has played for. He began his colourful career with Bury in 2004 and has also played in English football with Brighton, Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers.

The powerhouse hitman has had spells in Turkey with three different teams, Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Bursaspor, and played for Toulouse in France.

He had a six-month loan stint with Greek outfit Olympkiakso in 2012 before sampling Dutch action with Feyenoord two years later.

Kazim-Richards agreed a two-and-a-half year contract with Celtic on February 1, 2016.

He added: “I don’t really know where I will end my career.”

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