MIKAEL LUSTIG has called out Brendan Rodgers in an interview with a Belgian sports magazine for leaving the team he claimed to support in the lurch just as the season reached its business end. And while the Swedish former Celtic star has revealed this for the first time publicly he has told Rodgers of his displeasure in private.
Lustig also has spoken about his disappointment at Celtic’s one year contract extension- he wanted three years and achieved that security for his family at Gent.
“Celtic will always have a huge place in my heart, but in football, we are not always alone in deciding. They offered to keep me on and, come on, I respect the club too much to say bad things about it.
“But I gave everything to them for eight years…I was expecting a little more respect in return. My family and my ex-teammates know what happened, that’s the most important thing.
And I do not want to close this door, I want to feel good when I return to Glasgow.”
Lustig, in an interview with Sport/Foot Magazine in Belgium, insists he has no regrets about his move to Gent, as reported in The Herald today.
“I started chatting with Peter Verbeke, the sports director of the club, in April. Honestly, I did not know much about the club, so I did not get excited.
Mikael Lustig on Brendan Rodgers ????????
"I only regret that he left the way he did. When you say you are a fan of Celtic you do not quit the club in February."
"I do not approve of his choice and he knows it." pic.twitter.com/xEnDWXmONN
— Celtic FC Fans & News ???? (@Celtic1888News) July 26, 2019
“I had other possibilities, I could have gone back to Sweden or play in Italy, but the more my research progressed, the more I found that Gent best suited my aspirations.
“The three-year contract they offered me was also proof that they really wanted me. And I saw that it was a great city, a great environment for my family and I wanted to put their well-being first.
“In Glasgow, I was at home. The squad were very tight, several players had been there for years, we were real friends and we even saw each other outside the club which is more and more rare these days in modern football.
“To achieve similar at Gent, it’s crucial we repeat that and are united like at Celtic.
“At Celtic, we knew at the start of every season we had a good chance of being champion, but to do it for eight years in a row wasn’t easy. Every year it was more difficult.
“I truly hope Celtic will reach the ten-in-a-row with all my heart.
“For me, the most special title was last season because we won the treble for the third time in a row, which had never happened in Scotland.
“But I’m not a trophy collector – the most important thing was not the trophies but the recognition of people.
“In terms of managers, Neil Lennon persuaded me to move to Celtic so he is the most important coach for me.
“Tactically, the best was Brendan Rodgers…a true perfectionist.
“I only regret that he left the way he did. When you say you are a fan of Celtic you do not quit the club in February.”
“I do not approve of his choice and he knows it.”