A prominent fixture of the Celtic first-team squad left the club this week. A question that most Celtic fans had to answer at some point about this player last season was: Should he stay or should he go?
Of course, I’m talking about our recently departed Swedish international, Mika Lustig. Mika won an incredible 16 winners medals during his seven-and-a-half year stay at Celtic. He really split the support down the middle about whether he deserved a new contract or not but a cult hero to us he’ll always be.
He’s had some iconic moments during that time and that’s what we’re going to look at here in this article – ‘Mika Lustig’s five most iconic moments at Celtic’.
Now, I must stress that this is only my own opinion here, folks. To actually whittle it down to five is going to be tough as he’s had so many but I’ll give it a go anyway. Please let me know your thoughts on my selection. Have I got it right or are one or two more deserving to be in his top five? I’ll start in reverse order…
5. His dancing
Now, if you haven’t seen the video of Mika dancing in the gym, then you must find it. The man can throw some shapes and it’s absoloutely hilarious. There’s other videos of him on the internet that capture him doing his silly but funny little dances as well. I’m not sure who at Celtic would’ve beaten Mika in a dance-off, so we’ll have to wait to and see who takes his crown. Ryan Christie, possibly?
4. His goal at Ibrox
On the 29 April 2017, Celtic went to Ibrox and battered them 5-1. Although the other four goals that day were good, one stood out. Step forward Mika Lustig. Mika wasn’t really known for his twinkle toes or his sublime finishing, but both were on show that day. He must’ve been watching clips of another Swede to grace the Hoops before the game that day. He picked the ball up just over 10 metres past the halfway line in the Rangers half, skipped past one defender and, as Clint Hill approached him just outside the box, Mika opened his body up, sidestepped the 38-year-old Hill, and side-footed a tremendously sublime shot into the bottom corner away from Foderingham. The celebration was not too shabby either.
3. Diving header at Pittodrie
To clinch the title last season, we were faced with a daunting trip to Pittodrie against our fiercest rivals of recent years, Aberdeen. It turned out to be a walk in the park, as Aberdeen missed a host of chances. We won the game 3-0 but the first goal set us on our way and was an absolute peach. There was a downpour in the Granite City that day. The ball ended up on the left-wing with Callum McGregor. The wee man fired it and it took a bounce around the penalty spot and whizzed to the back post where Mika Lustig took a dive at it and headed it into the net. To this day, I’ll never know how he judged the bounce.
2. Beach-ball celebration
We’ve seen some funny celebrations over the years by Celtic players when they’ve scored goals, but a celebration that sticks out is by one who never even scored on the day. Moussa Dembele scored a hat-trick on his Glasgow Derby debut, as Leigh Griffiths was unfit to play that day. When Moussa’s second goal went in and he ran towards the standing section to celebrate, a figure in the distance could be seen running to join the players at the corner flag with a beach ball as a hat. Yes, you’ve guessed it, Mika Lustig!
1. PC Lustig
I think this iconic moment will be the thing that Celtic fans will forever remember Mika for. Not only was he a great servant to the club, a solid player who kept countless right-backs out of his position over his time here, but he was a joker as well, and we liked that about him. In one game in particular, on the 29 April 2018, my number one iconic Mika moment occurred.
We beat Rangers 5-0 that day but, on the stroke of half time, James Forrest scored an excellent goal and ran towards the fans. As the players joined him, Mika took a hat off a Policeman and put it on his own head to join in the celebrations. The Policeman thankfully saw the funny side and Mika wasn’t frog-marched down the tunnel. He even played PC Lustig in the club’s light-hearted pop at his iconic moment in the Celtic Christmas message video last year.
There are so many moments that Mika Lustig gave us. Some other notable mentions include his thunderbolt goal against Hearts, the Rabona against St Johnstone, the ripped jersey, and squaring up to Neymar.
We at ACSOM would like to wish Mika, his wife Josefin, and their family all the best in Belgium with his new club Gent. We’ll see you all back for the 10-in-a-row celebrations!