HENRIK LARSSON insists Martin O’Neill’s Celtic team would have been a massive success in the English No.1 division.
The Hoops legend is adamant the side that came so close to beating Jose Mourinho’s Porto outfit in the Europa Cup Final in Seville in 2003 would have DEFINITELY been in the top four.
Larsson is in absolutely no doubt that O’Neill’s line-up with the likes of Chris Sutton, John Hartson, Paul Lambert, Neil Lennon and Stan Petrov as colleagues would have taken English soccer by storm.
The Swedish icon, speaking to Callum McFadden on the Football CFB podcast, which is out on Monday, said: “Where would that team have finished in England? Top four. Without a doubt.”
As the Hoops battled for a place in the Spanish city 17 years ago, Larrson remarked: “We beat Liverpool, Blackburn, we beat a lot of good teams in that run.
“We played as well – or even better – than a Porto team that went on to win the Champions League, so it showed just how strong we were.
“There were about 15 internationals in that squad – important players for their countries. I think a lot of people tend to forget we had a really strong squad. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to win the big final.
“That would have been the icing on the cake for that squad.”
Larsson netted two excellent headers in the meeting with the Portuguese all-stars, but, Bobo Balde red-carded, Mourinho’s men scored the third and winning goal near the end of extra-time.
Reflecting on the European loss, he added: “Obviously, I thought about it for many years.
“At the same time, you have to get on with it, but winning that medal and being able to share that with the fans and my team-mates would have been a dream come true.
“Fate wanted something else. It just shows what a team we had and how good we were.”