How Dida’s Celtic Park theatrics resulted in his Milan downfall

LAST NIGHT BT Sport showed a Celtic classic as Gordon Strachan’s side defeated Champions League holders AC Milan 2-1 at Celtic Park. A second half goal from Stephen McManus had been cancelled out by Kaka’s penalty before Scott McDonald netted in the 89th minute.

The goal sparked wild scenes in the corner of the Jock Stein and North Stand as the players celebrated. However, while everyone was focused on celebrating, a supporter entered the field and cheekily tapped Brazilian Dida on the cheek before running towards the jubilant Celtic players.

Dida, a World Cup winner in 2002, made after the supporter before collapsing in a heap in the goalmouth. The Italian side’s medical staff made their way onto the pitch to tend to the keeper.

The stretcher soon made its way onto the park, with confusion as to what had happened. Judging by his reaction, you would be forgiven for thinking that Dida had been hit by a bottle.

Following the game, Celtic were fined for a supporter entering the ground but the footage of the incident was beamed around the world and Dida was accused of overreacting. However, despite Celtic and the football community condemning both Dida and the pitch invader, Dida may have expected some sympathy from his employers, AC Milan.

Celtic were fined £25k as Dida was banned for two Champions league matches. Although I Rossoneri were less than impressed with Dida’s antics.

AC Milan commented following the passing “We are European champions and we must behave like that. Certainly it would have been better if the fan had stayed in his seat and Celtic would have won all the same and everyone would have been happy.”

The supporters wanted this incident to be Dida’s last in a Milan jersey. On the Gazzetta dello Sport forum, AC Milan supporters slated Dida for his actions as well as his goalkeeping performances.

“How much longer do we have to put up with this circus clown Dida?

“He was hardly touched, tried to run after the fan and then thought maybe I should fall to the floor – and then to add to the embarassment he leaves on a stretcher – what an insult to AC Milan.”

Another wrote: “How much longer do we have to put up with Dida? If he is not gifting goals or making huge clangers then he is falling to the ground like a third rate actress.

“The quicker he goes the better.”

Dida returned but a mistake in the Milan Derby in December that year amounted in his downfall with Ancelotti’s side. He suffered a knee injury in January and was replaced as Number 1 at the club.

Despite resurrecting his career in his final 18 months in Milan, the episode at Celtic Park in 2007 soured his relationship with the AC supporters, who were embarrassed with his behaviour as well as some sub-par performances.


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About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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