LASSAD NOUIOUI signed a two-year deal at Celtic on September 2 2012 as a free agent after quitting Spanish top-flight club Deportivo La Coruna.

Expectation levels were high for the French-born striker, who won two international caps for his adopted nation Tunisia, after he had performed for three years in La Liga.

Peter Lawwell, then the club’s chief executive, was so eager to get the deal over the line he met the 26-year-old forward and his agent at Glasgow airport on a Sunday morning and transported them to Celtic Park before the signing.

HAPPY DAYS…Lassad Nouioui is about to join in the celebrations with Mikael Lustig after Georgios Samaras’ stoppage-time winner in a dramatic 4-3 comeback triumph over Aberdeen in March 2013.

The current Hoops chairman gave Lassad and his representative a guided tour of the stadium and there were no hitches when it came to putting pen to paper to rubberstamp the deal the following day.

Unfortunately, the frontman failed to spark at the champions who were on their way to nine in a row and his contract was scrapped in June the following year.

Lassad, a Geogios Samaras lookalike, scored a mere three goals in 19 appearances. He was honest enough to admit: “After the first month, I had an injury for four weeks, which did not help me. But that is not an excuse.

“I have not played many games and when I have played I have not played very well. Maybe I need more time. But sometimes in football you don’t have any time.

“I wanted to show more to the Celtic supporters and for myself.”

ON THE BALL… Lassad Nouioui in one of his 19 appearances for Celtic.

After leaving Neil Lennon’s side, Lassad played for Arouca in Portugal, FC Tokyo in Japan and Club Africain in Tunisia before returning to Spain to play for second-tier side CD Toledo.

On April 14 2018, the player suffered a cardiac arrest while training at the club. Thankfully, he made a full recovery after slipping into a 10-day coma.

However, Lassad, at just 32, was forced to prematurely retire from playing on medical recommendations.

* TOMORROW: Don’t miss the adventures of another former Celt in CQN’s EXCLUSIVE series.

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