CELTIC legend John ‘Yogi’ Hughes has scoffed at “ridiculous” claims from Kenny Miller.

The one-time Ibrox striker insisted his old club “would be right up there with Celtic’s Lisbon Lions in 1967” if they win the Europa League.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side will face Bundesliga strugglers Eintracht Frankfurt, who sit twelfth in the 18-team league without a domestic win in eight games, in the Final in Seville a week on Wednesday.

Undoubtedly, it is a praiseworthy effort, but Hughes, the club’s seventh-highest scorer with 189 goals, hit back at Miller’s comments.

READ ALL ABOUT IT…John Hughes with his life story.

In another CQN EXCLUSIVE, the former fans’ favourite gave his forthright views to author Alex Gordon, who co-wrote the Hoops great’s best-selling autobiography, ‘Yogi Bare: The Life and Times of a Celtic Legend,’ which was published in 2013.

Hughes, now 79, said: “When I heard about these remarks I wondered if I had stepped back in time to April 1, the traditional April Fool’s Day.

“How on earth can anyone make such a riduculous and nonsensical comparison? With the greatest respect, Kenny clearly doesn’t know what he is talking about.

“There is absolutely no way you can look at what Van Bronckhorst’s team have done and what was achieved by Jock Stein’s side.

“For a start, Celtic won the main prize – the European Cup. Rangers aren’t even competing in the premier competition.

YOGI ON THE RAMPAGE…Big John Hughes terrorises a rival defence.

“I played in five of the games that took us to Lisbon and I can tell you the opposition we faced and overcame every step of the way were worthy champions of their respective countries. Back in the good old days, you had to win the title to compete in the European Cup, unlike today when you get four teams from the one nation competing for the trophy.

“If you care to take the time to examine the quality of the opposition we beat, that might give you an idea of the calibre of teams from countries who were doing well on the world stage at the time.

“Remember, back then, there was not the influx of foreign players in club sides we have today. For instance, Zurich and Nantes provided Switzerland and France with the core of their squads and both those countries played in the 1966 World Cup Finals in England.

“Vojvodina were the best team we played en route to the Portuguese capital and they were champions of Yugoslavia, who were beaten in the replay of the European Championship, then known as the European Nations Cup, by an extremely good Italian side in 1968.

“The pedigree of Czechoslovakia’s Dukla Prague was well known and their captain, Josef Masopust, had been the European Footballer of the year earlier in that decade.

KINGS OF EUROPE…Billy McNeill accepts the European Cup on the unforgettable Lisbon evening of May 25 1967.

“And then we come to Inter Milan in the European Cup Final. They had won the trophy twice in the previous three years and had been world club champions over the same period.

“This was Celtic’s first-ever crack at the silverware after competiting in the Cup-Winners’ Cup and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup before the big step up.

“Kenny has probably conveniently overlooked the fact that not one British team had conquered Europe before Celtic achieved the feat on May 25 1967.

“So, to give our city neighbours some credit, they have done well to get to Seville and we’ll see what transpires on the evening.

“But to say a victory would equal the feat of the Lisbon Lions borders on the laughable.”

* DON’T miss the big-name EXCLUSIVES – only in your champion CQN.


Click Here for Comments >

About Author