MATT O’RILEY celebrated his 23rd birthday yesterday in the aftermath of glowing tributes following his debut for Denmark senior team.
The Celtic playmaker turned in his usual polished performance, but couldn’t prevent his adopted nation sliding to a 2-0 loss to Northern Ireland in Belfast, as CQN reported.
The result was a mere hiccup for the Danes who had already qualified for the Euro 24 Finals in Germany next summer with the Hoops ace eyeing mixing with Europe’s elite.
O’Riley is in a rich seam of form since the start of the season and is a pivotal figure in Brendan Rodgers’ first-team plans and is a certainty to play against Motherwell at Parkhead on Saturday when the Premiership resumes after the international interval.
The London-born stylist scored the dramatic stoppage-time winner when the clubs last met at Fir Park in late September.
NET PROFIT…Matt O’Riley leaves Motherwell keeper Liam Kelly helpless as he claims the stoppage-time winner at Fir Park in September.
It’s all a far cry from this time last year when O’Riley admitted he was a lucky Bhoy to escape a broken leg following a wild challenge from Everton defender Isaac Price in the goalless draw in the Sydney Super Cup in the champions’ short tour of Australia during the World Cup Finals in Qatar.
On that occasion the £1.5million bargain buy from MK Dons in January 2022 said: “I got lucky. I’m not even sure he got booked.
“I think because it was only a friendly the ref didn’t want to give a red card. But it’s a red card every other day.
“It was on my knee. I got a big mark from it.
“I had a word with the referee. He was trying to explain it to me, but I didn’t really understand.
“On another day, I get my leg broken. When I watched it back I realised I got lucky.”
We can all thank our lucky stars O’Riley escaped and is now performing at such a high level of consistency that he a must-pick alongside Callum McGregor in the team’s engine room.