Craig Burley enjoyed a 15-year professional football career two of which he spent at Parkhead. Before moving to Celtic, Burley was lucky enough to have played with the likes Gianfranco Zola, Ruud Gullit and Gianluca Vialli. But the former Scotland international believes that his Celtic teammate, Henrik Larsson, was just as good as any of those three.
Interestingly, both Larsson and Burley had signed with the Glasgow giants on the same day. And while Burley would leave a couple of years later for Derby County, his Swedish teammate would go on to become one of the greatest players to ever don the Celtic jersey. The Swede’s signing helped the club prevent Rangers from winning the famed 10-in-a-row that season.
Larsson spent seven very successful seasons at Celtic Park, scoring 242 goals in 313 appearances for the Hoops. He even won the European Golden Shoe in 2001 after scoring an astonishing 53 goals in a season.
And Burley recently paid the ultimate tribute to his former teammate by comparing him with the likes of three of the best forwards of their generation – Gianfranco Zola, Ruud Gullit and Gianluca Vialli. Burley shared the pitch with the three during his Chelsea days and believes that Larsson certainly belongs in the same bracket as them.
As reported by the Daily Record, the former Celtic man said:
“I was lucky enough to play with Gullit, Zola and Vialli, who all played in a similar position to Henrik.
“Mark Hughes was another at that time then I played with Fabrizio Ravanelli later in my career. But Henrik is absolutely in that bracket with all of those guys.
“They were super influential in football all over Europe and Larsson had a similar impact across the board – not just in Scotland.”
While those are huge names in football, Larsson’s achievements speak for themselves. The Swede could have walked into most teams on the planet during his prime and the high esteem that Burley holds him in should come as no surprise.