THEY PLAYED AT PARADISE... ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC
Celtic View|Vol 56 Issue 13
THEY PLAYED AT PARADISE... ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC
There have been many great players who have, in the words of the Willie Maley Song, passed through Parkhead’s gates to play for the Hoops, and there have many more who have faced Celtic at Paradise. All of them leave Celtic Park knowing that they have been lucky enough to play in one of the greatest and most famous sporting arenas in the world. Ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League clash with AC Milan, we feature a player who played at Paradise back in August 2001, when Ajax took on the Hoops in a Champions League play-off. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was only 19 when he came on in the second-half of that game. Now aged 39, the Swedish internationalist is returning to Celtic Park and aiming to help his side get off to a winning start in their Europa League group-stage campaign.
Paul Cuddihy

WHEN DID HE PLAY AT PARADISE?

He might only have played all of 25 minutes at Celtic Park, but the experience was one that stayed with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Then only 19-years-old, the Swedish striker was in the Ajax squad which travelled to Glasgow for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifier against Celtic. The Dutch side faced an uphill task, having lost 3-1 in Amsterdam to Martin O’Neill’s side, but on a nervy night at Paradise for the home side, who were bidding to reach the group stages of the competition for the first time, Ajax took a first-half lead through their Brazilian forward Wamberto. And they knew that another goal could put them through in away goals. Ibrahimovic came on in the 65 minute for Nikos Machlas, but the teenage striker couldn’t provide his side with a goal, and it was Celtic who progressed to the group stages.

THE PERFECT ARENA FOR CELTIC

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Vol 56 Issue 13