Si Ferry couldn’t believe Celtic didn’t offer ex-Barcelona midfielder a contract

Si Ferry has admitted his disbelief that Celtic never offered future Spanish International Ivan de la Pena a contract when the classy midfielder underwent a trial at Barrowfield. Ferry came through the ranks at Celtic, rubbing shoulders with Henrik Larsson, Neil Lennon, Chris Sutton and Stan Petrov to name but a few. The Peterhead midfielder and Open Goal presenter usually speaks so well of Martin O’Neill at Celtic but says that he couldn’t believe that the Irishman did not offer Ivan de la Pena a deal.

The former Barcelona and Lazio midfielder spent time in Glasgow on a trial basis; however the Hoops decided against signing him and he returned to Espanyol.Speaking on Open Goal last week, Ferry said that he couldn’t believe how good the midfielder was but he that he was never offered a deal as he wasn’t an O’ Neill type of player.

“I first went to Celtic, the best trialist I’ve ever seen in my life, I can’t believe he never got a deal – de la Pena.

“He was brilliant! We used to run up from youth team training to watch the first team, to watch him train. Never got a deal.

“You know when someone never passes with the inside of the foot? He was just pinging it everywhere man with his laces. He wasn’t really a Martin O’Neill type player, a central midfielder.

“Ability-wise though, oh my God. He played for Spain a few times, and Barca.”

Celtic had a number of quality midfielders on their books in 2003, such as Petrov, Lennon, Lambert and Pearson meaning that maybe O’Neill struggled to see how a continental midfielder may have adapted to his robust yet talented side.

Pena was tipped to be the natural successor at the Camp Nou for Pep Guardiola; however, he never managed to fulfil his early promise with Barca but instead their city neighbour is where he spent most of his senior career.

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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