Former Celtic Star Emilio Izaguirre hangs up his boots

Emilio Izaguirre is the latest former Celtic Star to announce that he is retiring from playing, following on from both Shunsuke Nakamura and Mikael Lustig. All three were firm fans favourites in the their time at Celtic and all will be given a very warm welcome when they decide to return to Paradise for a visit.

Emilio Izaguirre at 36, hangs up his books to concentrate on his new job as Sports Director at Motagua, his first club back home in Honduras.

Ronaldo and Emilio

During his time at Celtic spanning eight seasons, Emilio won seven Scottish titles, three Scottish Cups and two League Cups and was always a hugely popular player with the Celtic support who would chant “Emilio Izaguirre, Celtic loves you more than you will know”.

Lionel Messi has a shot blocked by Celtic’s Honduran defender Emilio Izaguirre  (Photo PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

His relationship with the support worked both ways as the player was always one of the first to acknowledge the support and would be a player who was always happy to interact with Celtic fans wherever they met the left-back, who made 269 appearances for Celtic, scored five goals and missed one penalty.

Emilio Izaguirre of Celtic with his children meets the fans and celebrating Celtic winning the 2013-2014 Championship after the Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Ross County at Celtic Park on March 29, 2014. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

When Kieran Tierney burst onto the scene under Ronny Deila, Emilio was happy for the young Academy star and provided excellent mentoring support and encouragement for a player Celtic would sell for £25m to Arsenal within a few years.

After ending his second spell at Celtic, he had left for short spell going to play in the Middle East, but the family missed Glasgow and were soon back. As a 33 year old his time at Celtic came to an end and he returned home to Honduras signing for Motagua but after a fall-out with the manager he left to bitter local rivals Marathon, which would have not gone down too well with the Motagua supporters.

Celtic player Emilio Izaguirre says a prayer before the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic FC and FC Spartak Moscow at Celtic Park on December 5, 2012. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

But that’s all clearly water under the bridge and Emilio is back at his first club working as Sports Director, after gaining the necessary qualifications studying virtually at the Johan Cryuff Institute in Barcelona. Motagua incidentally are currently top of the league looking down on Marathon.

Speaking about his new role Emilio said: “I am very excited and happy with this new challenge at a club that I love. We are going to work very hard to continue giving the supporters a lot of joy.”

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