On This Day in 2004, Celtic said goodbye to Henrik Larsson as the King of Kings ended his seven year stay in Paradise. The Swede bowed out with a brace as Martin O’Neill’s side celebrated Larsson’s final home appearance. It would be a fitting end as it was the brilliance of the striker, who made the difference as Celtic warmed up for the Cup Final against Dunfermline.
Larsson was full of emotion as he netted twice, with Mark Wilson pulling one back for the Arabs. He should even more emotion in his interview at full-time, which probably mirrored the Celtic support, who were bidding farewell to a legend.
In his time at Celtic, Larsson scored 242 goals going from stopping the ten in 1998 before bowing out as a Scottish Champion. They don’t make many like Henrik these days. Despite his stature, he could jump well above central defenders and a nip of pace to take him beyond many a defender.
Despite the riches that a player of his class could have demanded south of the border, Larsson stayed loyal to Celtic as he and his family were settled. He proved that he was different class in his final match for Barcelona in 2006, when he came on as a substitute in Paris during the Champions League final and got two assists as Barca came from behind to beat Arsenal.