Moi Elyounoussi talks his Celtic connections

Moi Elyounoussi talks his Celtic connections, the evergreen James Forrest and Norway’s Euro conquerors…

Moi Elyounoussi was back in town this past weekend to participate in a Euro 2024 qualifying clash with Scotland. The Norwegian and his teammates arrived already knowing that the game was up in terms of their own qualification hopes, but were still eager to enact revenge on the Scots for beating them in their own backyard in June.

The former Celtic winger and his countrymen had to settle for a share of the spoils on the night, as a pulsating fixture finished 3-3 with Moi even getting the equalising goal late into the game. Copenhagen’s star admitted it was a good feeling to be back in town and even reserved special praise for his old comrade in the Hoops, James Forrest. Elyounoussi raved about the evergreen wide-man and revealed that he wished he had the Scots’ genes!

Ross County v Celtic – cinch Premiership – Global Energy Stadium Celtic s James Forrest celebrates scoring their side s third goal of the gameduring the cinch Premiership match at the Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall on Saturday November 4, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

Speaking to The Herald, he said: “It’s amazing he’s 32 now – I wish I had those genes! What a lad. He’s such a good guy, he’s very humble and it’s great to see he’s still going strong. I hope they will have a successful season ahead. I heard he’s scored in 15 seasons in a row. That is incredible and I don’t know if I will achieve that. I have children and he doesn’t have any yet – so that’s a big minus for me! I have two under four, so I have grey hair now.

“He’s such a top professional I am not surprised he is continuing to do it. The only surprise is when people tell me his age – because he still looks so young! I still follow Celtic and it’s great to see them doing so well. I hope they have another successful season ahead.”

The former Southampton and Molde man reflected fondly on his time at Paradise which lasted for two years at the time, between 2019-2021. Arriving under Neil Lennon’s second spell as boss, both he and ex-Celt Fraser Forster aided the club on their assault at Nine-in-a-row. Covid-19 did dampen the spell for a lot of that time with no supporters allowed in to back the team during the 2020-21 season. “I was only at the club for two years, but I still felt like a long time because I enjoyed it,” he said.

“I only had six months with fans and the rest was without. That was something I really missed, and it was something I was looking forward to, as that is why I stayed longer. But I have good memories on and off the pitch. They are good lads. I said to my wife it would be nice to come back and go to a game, see where we lived and just remember the good times. As soon as we landed it felt like being back in the old days – especially with the rain as well. I thought, ‘Glasgow hasn’t changed too much!’

“We also stayed in the same hotel we did with Celtic, so there was a lot of good memories coming back. I still stay in touch with some of the boys. There are a few still there from my time, like Callum (McGregor), Jamesie and Greg (Taylor). I talked to them after the game, and I still watch Celtic games. Even some fans are still in touch with me and that is nice. It was great to see such nice lads. Obviously, we shared many great memories together.”

Even in light of his disappointment at his country’s loss to Scotland and subsequent elimination from the tournament in Germany next summer, Celtic’s former employee says he will be watching on and cheering Steve Clarke’s side when they play their second major tournament in a row. On the qualifying campaign and the clashes with Scotland, he said: “Did we spoil the party? I think the party was going on anyway! It’s always nice to be at Hampden Park again, I have nice memories of there and of course it’s always nice to score. It was meant to be the big final for us, but it didn’t work out that way. For us, it was about going out and showing we should have been in the Euros.”

“We were obviously missing some big players but we have enough quality to score goals. It was a good performance. Overall, Scotland deserved to go through. They beat Spain here, so we knew it was a tough challenge and the atmosphere was really good. It was a good away game for us. The defeat to Scotland in Oslo was the turning point for us – probably for Scotland as well. We shouldn’t be conceded two goals in three minutes. It’s history now so we have to ahead to the challenges in front of us and try to get better as a team.

He added: “They totally deserve to be there. Myself and Kris Ajer knew there would be a good atmosphere and we told the boys before the game. You heard it with the national anthem and through the game. I just wish Scotland all the best. I am going to cheer for them because I know so many of the players, with Stuart Armstrong and Ryan Christie as well. They deserve to be there.”

Paul Gillespie

Click on image above to order a hardback copy of Majic, Stan and the King of Japan which will be personally signed by the author.
Click on the image above to order the Amazon Kindle version which comes will all the brilliant photos from that season which appear in th hardback version of the book.

About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

Comments are closed.