FORMER Celtic centre-half Ramon Vega has admitted it was honour to play for the Hoops – and he would have stayed at Parkhead for the remainder of his career.
The Swiss international arrived at Parkhead on loan from Spurs and had a dream debut 24 hours later when he claimed a double in a 6-0 win over Aberdeen at Parkhead in December 16 2000.
Vega spent six months at the club and became a mainstay in the second half of the season as Martin O’Neill’s side won their first treble since Jock Stein’s men achieved the feat is season 1968/69.
He later joined Watford before finishing his career with French minnows Creteil, but the powerhouse defender, now 48, rates his short spell at the Bhoys as one of his best experiences and says he would have still been cleaning boots if he was offered the chance to stay.
Vega, who now works in the world of high finance, told The Herald: “Celtic were some of the best times I ever had.
“It was intense, but it was also very successful at the same time. What else can you ask for other than a treble in the one season I was there?
“It was a real shame I couldn’t stay longer because I had the best experience.
“The supporters were absolutely magnificent, you don’t forget something like that.
“I wanted to stay longer, but there was no official offer for me to stay there. So, what can you do as a player?
“There had been suggestions that I didn’t stay because of money, but that wasn’t the case. I wanted the club to sign me for life! But it was not mutual, I’m not entirely sure why.
“I had the best time of my career at Celtic and won medals there, they’ll be in my heart all the time.
“I’d be cleaning the boots just to be there and feel the atmosphere! It was an honour to play for Celtic.”
Vega’s days in Glasgow were numbered when O’Neill picked up Bobo Balde, who went on to become a cult hero with the fans, for nothing when his French club Toulouse suffered a financial meltdown.