4 Celts who shone on the international stage

The international break is never the most exciting time for many Celtic fans, with most just wanting to see the Hoops back in action as quickly as possible.

The first international break of the season is always the least popular with it closely following the summer break, but keen eyes are always on the individual Celtic players who represent their national sides during these lulls in domestic action.

Celtic have been well represented on the biggest international stages over the years, and here are some who have sundoubtedly tarred at that level for their respective national sides.

Henrik Larsson – Sweden

The King of Kings is not only one of the greatest to ever wear the Celtic shirt but he is also one of the most revered Swedish players of all time.

Larsson was an established member of the national set-up even before he moved to Celtic Park, scoring on his debut against fellow Scandinavians Finland. It was his early exploits for the Swedish national team that saw him called up to the 1994 World Cup squad where he played 5 times as Sweden secured the bronze medal.

He would go on to appear in a further two World Cups and four European Championships. He has captained his national side, won the Swedish Golden Ball twice and, in 2003, he was named the greatest Swedish footballer of the last 50 years.

He was a star not just domestically but internationally as well.

Kenny Dalglish – Scotland

King Kenny made his Scotland debut in 1972 against Bulgaria and he scored his first goal for the national team later that year. That would be the first cap of many as Dalglish would go on to become the most capped player in the history of the Scotland national team.

Dalglish would play in three different World Cups for Scotland, something that seems otherworldly for the country’s national side these days.

Not only was he the most-capped player, he is also the highest scoring player as well, with one of the most famous being a game-winning goal against the Auld Enemy, England, in 1977.

Paul McStay – Scotland

Paul McStay was the captain of the only ever Scotland side to win a major trophy, the under-18s European Championship-winning team of 1982. He captained the national side at every level possible and notched up 76 caps, including appearances at two World Cups and a European Championship.

The Maestro also scored nine goals for the national team, his best arguably being a long-range stunner against Iceland at Hampden Park.

Teemu Pukki – Finland

Although Pukki didn’t have the greatest of spells at Celtic Park, with the flop tag following him ever since, he is a footballing legend in his home of Finland.

Pukki single-handedly carried Finland to Euro 2020, scoring 10 goals in the qualifiers, the first European Championship in their history. In 2022 he became the all-time leading goalscorer in the history of the Finnish national team.

Whilst not remembered fondly at Celtic, he is an icon in Finland.


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