Celtic hail ex-hero Larsson

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has hailed Henrik Larsson and his Barcelona team-mates for helping the Glasgow giants into the Champions League group stages next season.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has hailed Henrik Larsson and his Barcelona team-mates for helping the Glasgow giants into the Champions League group stages next season.

The former Parkhead striker stepped off the bench to inspire the Spanish team to a 2-1 win over Arsenal in Paris last night.

As a direct result of Barcelona’s win, the Hoops were also granted a free entry to the lucrative group stages of the competition as Scottish champions.

“The part which Henrik played in last night’s victory is clear for all to see and obviously everyone at Celtic is delighted for him and for Barcelona,” said Lawwell.

“Just as he did time and time again for Celtic, Henrik made that telling contribution and, as a number of people have already said, he was, in fact, the difference.

“We would like to offer our sincere congratulations to Barcelona following last night’s Champions League triumph in Paris.

“However, it is important to say that two great teams and two great clubs made it to the final.

“We have a number of good friends at Arsenal and of course, our commiserations go to them.

“As we know all too well, losing a European final is not easy, however, Arsenal too deserve great credit for all their efforts in Europe this season.”

Lawwell also heaped praise on Gordon Strachan and his championship winning players.

He told the club’s official website, www.celticfc.net: “Let’s not forget though, that as well as last night’s result, it is also the fantastic efforts of Gordon and the team in winning the SPL title which have brought us to this point, so they too deserve our congratulations.

“From the club’s point of view, we are of course delighted now to be entered straight into the Champions League groups stages, somewhere every major club wants to be.”

Celtic will be ranked in pot two alongside Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Valencia, Olympique Lyon, Porto, PSV Eindhoven and Ajax for the draw.

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