1998 was an era before the tier one clubs started to harvest vast numbers of players, so by some quirk of nature, Celtic had more players represented at the World Cup that year than any other club in the world. 11 in total left the newly crowned champions to travel to France: McNamara, Boyd, McKinlay, Burley, Jackson, Donnelly, Lambert, Gould, Rieper and Weighorst.
We were delighted for the players who took part in the tournament but it had consequences when practically an entire team missed out on a close season. Legs tired in the spring of 1999.
It would be churlish for us to grudge James Forrest or Callum McGregor the chance to participate the Euros this summer. They deserve it and will surely go. David Turnbull is the one I am most keen on to stay home. David will be a crucial player for Celtic next season and I want him fit and ready for the Champions League qualifiers. Ryan Christie, in the final year of his contract, is likely to be around for at least a part of the qualification campaign but any late season tiredness is likely to someone else’s problem.