CELTIC hero Stan Petrov rates Henrik Larsson as the best professional he has ever played alongside.
And the former Hoops fans’ favourite admitted Lubomir Moravcik comes a close second.
The former Bulgarian international midfielder didn’t hesitate to team up again with his old mates when he was asked to make his footballing comeback at the end of the season.
Petrov, 37, agreed to get the boots on again for the charity-raising game being billed as ‘Henrik’s Heroes v Lubo’s Legends’ at Parkhead on Sunday, May 28 – the day after the Scottish Cup Final.
He said: “It is a great honour to be playing with them again.
“Henrik is one of the greatest Celtic players of all-time because of what he achieved with the club.
“I have an unbelievable admiration for him.
“He is the best player I have played with and the second best player is Lubo.
“That’s my top two, so it will be great to be on the park with them once again.“They are two incredible players, two incredible human beings, as well.

“To be part of a day that includes Henrik and Lubo and a salute to the Lisbon Lions is an honour.”
Petrov admitted he is overjoyed at the opportunity to play again in front of the Celtic supporters with whom he has such a special relationship.
The Hoops fans turned out in their thousands for a charity game for Petrov in 2013 as he fought his courageous and successful battle with leukaemia.He added: “I am looking forward to going back home again. I had a great day with my charity game at Celtic Park and was so grateful to the fans.”

Petrov joined the champions in 1999 and made 268 appearances, scoring 68 goals.

He won four league titles, three Scottish Cups and three League Cups as well as playing a key role in helping the team to the 2003 UEFA Cup Final in Seville.

Ex-Bhoys boss Martin O’Neill paid £6million to take him to Aston Villa three years later.

Celtic could clinch the Premiership at Dens Park this Sunday or perhaps have to wait a little longer if results don’t go our way. However it remains a matter of WHEN and not IF we are going to win 6 in a row.

The Betfred League Cup was won in comprehensive fashion back in November with Celtic defeating Aberdeen 3-0 in the Final.

Now all attention turns to the Scottish Cup as Celtic seek to secure only the fourth Treble in the club’s illustrious and unbroken history.

There is also the small matter of becoming the first Scottish club to ever go a league season undefeated in the post war era, and that is getting closer to becoming a reality with each passing week, but in terms of silverware it’s all about the Scottish Cup.

Victory in the Scottish Cup would make it the first time Celtic have won the treble since the fabled team of 2000-01 captured it.

It would be a fantastic achievement and the bookmakers think Celtic are more than capable of winning the Cup in May: Celtic are the 4/9 favourites, ahead of Aberdeen at 9/2, Rangers at 6/1 and Hibs, who are 12/1 outsiders, BetDSI lines reveal. The odds are low, but still looks like a great bet.

In domestic football Celtic have been unbeatable this season. Twenty-six wins and two draw from 28 league games, zero defeats, and the league cup already won, this is remarkable form as this Celtic team strives towards record-breaking invincibility.

The Scottish Cup semi-final is against Sevco Rangers. They could be galvanised by the arrival of a new manager who has claimed that he has inherited the best squad in Scottish football, but the reality is that Celtic have been head and shoulders above their noisy neighbours all season.

They knocked them out of the league cup en route to winning it and have beaten Sevco Rangers 5-1 and 2-1 in the league, prior to last Sunday’s 1-1 draw.


Assuming that Celtic get past Rangers, they are likely according to the bookies to face Aberdeen in the final. Aberdeen have been in solid form all season, but Celtic are better and if they play as they did back in the League Cup Final then the Bhoys should have their Treble.

Inevitably the big question that would be asked at that stage would be, ‘are Celtic better now than they were in 2000-01?

Alan Stubbs, who won the treble under Martin O’Neill that season, does not think so. “It was much harder when I won the Treble –Rangers (sic) were in a better place and when you look at all the teams it was more competitive,” he said, adding that the 2000-01 side could take the current crop over 90 minutes.

He has a fair point. Back then Celtic and the old Rangers were going at it hammer and tong in a two-horsed race every season. And little did we know that only Celtic were playing by the rules!

After being formed in 2012, after Rangers went into liquidation, Sevco Rangers made it’s way through the divisions to reach the Premiership this season. This has been the new club’s Rangers’ first season in the top flight and they clearly have not had time to acclimatize. Two draws against Man City in the Champions League showed they can cut it with big teams, but losing 7-0 to Barcelona exposed their limitations.

The 2000-01 team was blessed with the talents of Henrik Larsson, a superstar who would go on to prove his pedigree by winning the Champions League with Barca. Stubbs, Paul Lambert, Neil Lennon, John Hartson and Chris Sutton provided a very strong supporting cast.

Fantastic as this current team has been this year, the 2000-01 team would probably edge a match between the two.

Hopefully this season’s campaign can be a springboard for Celtic to keep attracting top players. Look at how well Moussa Dembele did in the Champions League. That brought him to the attention of top clubs all over Europe. Right now nobody in Scotland is capable of beating the Hoops.

But the current side can look to Europe, and if they could reach and do well in the knockout stages next season, they could well claim to be the best Celtic team of the modern era.

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