MOUSSA DEMBELE has revealed hamstring victim Leigh Griffiths was one of the first to hail his hat-trick performance as Celtic ran amok in the Glasgow derby.
The 20-year-old French striker left Parkhead with the matchball after claiming the first trio of his career.
He took the place of the stricken Griffiths in the Hoops attack and admitted his fellow-frontman was one of the first to sign his prized memento.
Dembele said: “Leigh congratulated me after the game. He was in the dressing room and he was very happy.
“We are a team. We are working together, for each other. If we want to be successful then we have to be together. All great teams are like that – players working and believing in each other.
“It was such a good feeling. I felt very proud. I had heard a lot about the game and everyone knows that Celtic v Rangers (sic) is a very famous football match. To have scored a hat-trick in it felt amazing.”
Dembele has now scored seven goals after arriving on a £500,000 development fee from Fulham in the summer as Brendan Rodgers’ first signing for the club.
Griffiths will also sit out tonight’s confrontation against Barcelona at the Nou Camp with the youngster poised to lead the line again.
Dembele added: “This was part of the reason why I chose to come to Celtic. Champions League football is special for any club and any team. Once you are there, you want to do the very best job that you can.
“I hope I will play against Barcelona. I am very happy just now. I feel very confident. It is different playing against one of the very best teams in the world, but I am ready.
“We have to enjoy it. But we also want to try and make it hard for other teams to beat us. I will speak to the manager and I will know what my job is when we go into the game. It is exciting.
“I had offers to join other clubs this summer, but the chance to play in the Champions League was a big part of going to Celtic. It is the best competition in Europe and playing in it is how you will get better and sharper as a footballer.”
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