Mikael Lustig compares current Celtic team to ‘proper’ Invincibles

Mikael Lustig’s appearance on the Celtic View podcast this week is well worth listening to. The former Celtic star will be joining legendary Celtic captain Scott Brown at the Ovo Hydro in Glasgow on 18 May for what promises to be a very special Celtic evening in the company of these two Invincibles and Celtic legends and with plenty of added value included in terms of their special guests.

Lustig was asked about the comparisons that are being made between the Celtic side he starred in in the 2016-17 season which won the treble and achieved ‘proper’ Invincible status winning the league without losing a match and adding both the League Cup and of course the Scottish Cup to complete an undefeated Treble. ‘Proper’ not pretendy!

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The former Sweden international star reckons that such comparisons are indeed valid and he is clearly a big fan of the football that is being played by Ange Postecoglou’s side.

“They are doing so well,” Lustig told the Celtic View Podcast. “You can absolutely compare them with the Brendan Rodgers team with the way they play. When Ange came in, no one knew anything about him. He brought a lot of players in you hadn’t heard of and you were a little unsure about what would happen with Celtic.

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“But since the first day they have been playing so well. The strength with our team is the same with this one – it doesn’t matter what players are in the starting XI. They are going to perform really well. You are always comfortable when you watch them. You are never nervous they are going to slip up because you know they will push on.”

Lustig made an interesting observation about the use of inverted full-backs by Ange Postecoglou, pointing out that he’d done something similar to allow Kieran Tierney more freedom to play further forward in the Invincible Celtic side.

“I played the inverted full back role a little bit, with Brendan we had KT who pushed on and I stayed back a bit. I always liked to get forward and I would have loved to have played under Ange at the moment. It would suit me quite well I think.”

Lustig is also an admirer of the current Celtic right-back Alistair Johnston with the Swede being impressed by the start that the Canadian international has made to his career at Celtic.

“He’s made the perfect start. His first game was the derby as well. That’s football. He took his chance straight away and ever since then he’s been really reliable.He played on the big stage with Canada at the World Cup and he’s been fantastic since day one. I’m really happy for him,” Lustig noted.

Scott Brown and Mikael Lustig lift the League Cup Trophy during the Betfred Cup Final between Celtic and Aberdeen at Hampden Park on December 2, 2018. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Looking ahead to that very special night at Glasgow’s Ovo Hydro on 18 May, Lustig is certainly looking forward to spending time in the company of the Celtic support and he lists himself in that category as well.

“When I come back to Celtic Park now I’m like a supporter or a tourist. I think, ‘wow, this place is amazing’.

“You can forget that when you play so many games here, it all feels a bit unreal. It was the same when I quit playing for the national team and went to watch them play. It was cool. When you are in it, you don’t think so much about it, but when you step back and look it’s very cool.

“There are lot of special things about Celtic fans. There are so many of them, all over the world. They are never satisfied and that’s why we are always a good team, we keep on pushing.

 Scott Brown and Mikael Lustig of Celtic lift the trophy in victory after the Betfred Cup Final between Celtic and Aberdeen at Hampden Park on December 2, 2018. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“They are amazing. They are everywhere. I remember my first game in pre-season in Austria against some lower league teams and there were about 10 of them making noise and singing songs,” Lustig said.

“It was nice to be back (on Saturday). They were struggling a bit in the first half and I thought I might have been needed! But they turned it around, so that was good. It was amazing. It was almost four years since I was last at Celtic Park. It was great to see a full house and three points.

“I’m looking forward to linking up with Broony once more and to be with the supporters again. I think we have a lot of stories together, so it will be good fun.

“Did I think he’d become a manager? Absolutely. He would always have really good chats with the managers, he always listened to them. He’s was obviously the captain for a long time and he was always clear about the fact he’d one day become a manager. He’s doing really well. They had a good cup run and they are doing well in League One, I’m really happy for him.”

Mikael Lustig also noted that there are now so few of his former teammates still at the club and has an especially high regard for the current Celtic captain.

: Callum McGregor of Celtic celebrates at the final whistle as Celtic beat Rangers 2-1 in the Viaplay League Cup Final at Hampden Park on February 26, 2023. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

“There’s only Callum, Jamesie, Tony Ralston and Bainy left from my time. Callum has been unbelievable. There’s been a lot of new players coming in from all around the world and to have Callum as a proper Celtic boy has been really important.

“Obviously he played under Broony but he’s not tried to be Broony. He’s just been himself and you can see he’s a calm guy. He maybe doesn’t talk as much but the way he plays and trains, is just top, and that is why he’s been so good.”

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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