FILIPE JOTA very quickly became a Celtic fans’ favourite when he signed an initial season-long loan switch from Benfica in August 2021.
The move for the Portuguese personality became permanent the following summer when the Hoops met the £6.5million asking price included in the agreement with the Lisbon giants.
Jota’s contract at the champions was cut short, alas, when he was lured to the riches of Saudia Arabia in july this year with the Parkhead clun accepting a £25million offer from Al-Ittihad.
Just 12 months ago today, the popular star displayed his desire for Celtic to be successful when he acted as a ball Bhoy in the team’s 2-1 victory over Ross County at Parkhead.
THE MOST EXPENSIVE BALL BHOY IN THE WORLD…Filipe Jota plays his part in Celtic’s win over Ross County.
Jota eventually came on as a 69th-minute substitute for Daizen Maeda, but before his introduction cameras caught the winger’s impromptu actions in the immediate aftermath of David Turnbull’s 62nd-minute equaliser following the visitors’ ludicrous penalty-kick award five minutes after the interval.
Jota took the We.Never.Stop. slogan to heart when he was warming up behind the County goal before he got the nod to join proceedings.
He was first into the opposition’s net to retrieve the ball after Turnbull’s shot had eluded Ross Laidlaw.
Jota then raced onto the pitch to throw the ball towards the centre circle to make certain of a restart without delay by the Highlanders who had their keeper booked for persistent time-wasting.
IN THE FRAME…Filipe Jota celebrates with the Celtic fans after his goal in the 3-0 win at Livingston.
Sead Haksabanovic netted a sublime winner to push the champions nine points clear in their bid for a second successive Premiership crown.
Jota and Celtic celebrated a world record eighth domestic clean sweep in the 3-1 Scottish Cup Final triumph over Inverness Caley Thistle at Hampden on June 3.
A month later he was on his way to Saudi Arabia – but not before leaving behind a treasure trove of wonderful memories in his two years as a Celtic player.
Including the day he acted as a ball Bhoy!
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Aberdeen this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.