Monday, January 9, 2017

Celtic Greatest All-Time Team

The Lisbon Lions

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Celtic is one of the most supported British clubs in the world.  It was founded as a charity for poor Irish immigrants in Glasgow by Brother Walfrid, a Marist Brother originally from County Sligo, Ireland. Consequently, Celtic is strongly associated with Scotland's Irish Catholic community and have a significant number of supporters in Ireland and among members of the Irish diaspora elsewhere. The club's greatest season was 1966–67, when Celtic became the first British team to win the European Cup, also winning the Scottish League Championship, the Scottish Cup, the Scottish League Cup, and the Glasgow Cup. Celtic also reached the 1970 European Cup Final, and the 2003 UEFA Cup Final.
Winning the Treble in 2001
GK:  Ronnie Simpson (Scotland)
Ronnie Simpson was one of the "Lisbon Lions" who won the European Cup in 1967.  He also played for Queen's Park, Third Lanark and Hibernian. He represented Great Britain at the 1948 Olympics, but he did not play for Scotland until 1966.  He set a new record for being the oldest player to make his Scotland debut, aged 36 years and 196 days.  He only played 5 times for Scotland. He was Celtics' greatest ever keeper.

GK: Packie Bonner (Ireland)
Packie Bonner played 80 times for Ireland.  He played every tournaments from the European Championship of 1988 to the edition in1996 as Ireland qualified for 5 straight tournaments. He was best remembered for winning the penalty shootout against Romania at 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy.  He spent 20 years playing for Celtics in Scotland. He signed for Celtic on 14 May 1978, becoming Jock Stein's last signing for the Parkhead club.
Packie Bonner

GK: Joe Kennaway (Canada/Scotland)
Born in Canada, Joe Kennaway played in the American Soccer League between 1927 and 1931.  He moved to Scotland and joined Celtics in 1931.  He made 295 total appearances.  He represented Canada once in 1926.  In 1933, Kennaway represented Scotland to play against Austria.  Due to objections from other Home Nations, he never played for Scotland again.

RB: Danny McGrain (Scotland)
McGrain was an All-time great for Celtics.  He was among the best ever rightback coming out of United Kingdom.  With Celtic, he won seven League Championships, five Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups. He spent his final season of his career with Hamilton Accies, where he helped win them promotion to the premier league. He played in the 1974 and 1982 World Cups for Scotland, captaining the side in their opening match against New Zealand at the 1982 World Cup.

RB: Alec McNair (Scotland)
McNair began his career at Stenhousemuir.  In May 1904, McNair signed for Celtic. McNair initially played in a variety of positions, but when right-back Donnie McLeod left in 1908, McNair made that position his own. He was an integral part of the Celtic side that won six successive league championships from 1904-05 to 1909-10. He was capped 15 times and also played 16 times for Scottish League Select XI.

CB: Billy McNeill (Scotland)
As the captain of "Lisbon Lions, Billy McNeill became the first British footballer to hold aloft the European Cup, when Celtic won the Cup in 1967. He also won nine Scottish League championships, seven Scottish Cups, and six Scottish League Cups. He was voted as Cetlics' greatest captain.  He was capped 29 times for Scotland between 1961 and 1972.  He was SFWA Footballer of the Year for the 1964–65 season.
Billy McNeil

CB: Johan Mjällby (Sweden)
Johan Mjällby played mainly for AIK and Celtic.  With Celtic, he reached the 2002 UEFA Cup Final before losing to Jose Mourinho's Porto.  He also played for Levante briefly.  He was capped 49 times. Mjällby was the team captain during the 2002 World Cup Finals. He also took part in Euro 2000 and Euro 2004. 

 CB/DM: Roy Aitken (Scotland)
At Celtic, Aitken was nicknamed 'The Bear' by the supporters due to his large frame and commanding presence. He made the third-most appearances in the club's history and was particularly noted for his contributions in the club's double-winning 1987-88 season.  He later played for Newcastle United, St. Mirren and Aberdeen.  Capped 56 times.  He went to two WC Finals: 1986 and 1990.

CB: Bobby Evans (Scotland)
Bobby Evans started with Celtic.  He was the first Celtic captain to lift the League Cup in 1956 and he famously helped defend it a year later against Rangers in what will forever be known as "Hampden in the sun". He later moved to Newcastle United.  Capped 48 times. He went to both 1954 and 1958 World Cup Finals.

LB: Tommy Gemmell  (Scotland)
Tommy Gemmell was a legendary player with Celtic. He scored the opening goal for the Lisbon Lions in 1967 as Celtic became the first British club to win the European Cup trophy. He scored again at the European Cup Final in 1970 in a defeat to Feyenoord.  He also had a successful career with Nottingham Forest.  He also played for Miami Toros and Dundee. He was capped 18 times for Scotland between 1966 and 1971. 
Tommy Gemmell
LB: Joe Dodds (Scotland)
Joe Dodds joined Celtic in the summer of 1908 from Carluke Milton Rovers. He made 351 league appearances. Dodds was considered among the Celtic greats of his era and along with Shaw and Alec McNair was considered to have formed one of the greatest club defences in British football.  He had three caps for Scotland.

CM: Bobby Murdoch 
During his time at Celtic, he won eight Scottish League titles, four Scottish Cups and five League Cups, as well as the 1967 European Cup Final winners' medal.  Murdoch left Celtic in 1973 and joined Middlesbrough. He made 125 appearances for Middlesbrough before his playing retirement in 1976.  Murdoch won a total of 12 caps for Scotland. This was a comparatively low total of caps, but he had to compete for selection with Billy Bremner and Jim Baxter.

CM: Charlie Tully (Northern Ireland)
Charlie Tully signed for Celtic from Belfast Celtic on 28 June 1948. He played his debut match at Inside-left at home against Morton on 14 August in a 0-0 draw. He played a total of 319 matches for Celtic, scoring 47 goals, throughout his career, which spanned 11 years. He played 10 times for Northern Ireland. He scored a goal directly from a cornerback against England in 1952.

CM:  Paul McStay (Scotland)
Paul McStay spent his entire career with Scottish team Celtic, making his debut in 1982 and retiring in 1997. He captained both Scotland and Celtic at all age levels. He was capped 76 times for his country and scored nine goals. He helped Celtic win three league titles, the last one in 1988 and remains a popular figure amongst Celtic's fans. He played over 500 games for Celtic, captaining them for many years and was considered one of the greatest players for them.
Paul McStay
RW: Jimmy Johnstone (Scotland)
Jimmy Johnstone played over 500 games for Celtic.  In 2002, he was voted as the greatest Cetlic players by the fans.  He played over 500 games for them.  He was one of the Lisbon Lions that won the 1967 European Cup. He later played for the San Jose Earthquakes, Sheffield United, Dundee, Shelbourne and Elgin City.  He was capped 23 times between 1964 and 1974.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1974, but did not play.

LW: Adam McLean (Scotland)
Adam McLean played for Celtic, Sunderland, Aberdeen, and Partick Thistle. He played as an outside-left, he was an integral part of the Celtic team of the 1920s. He provided many assists to Jimmy McGrory, the greatest British goalscorer of all time.  He also played with Partick Thistle for the 1933-1934 season. He was Capped 4 times.  

AM: Shunsuke Nakamura 中村 俊輔 (Japan)
Shunsuke Nakamura was a star player at Celtics.  He won the SPF Player of the year and SFWA Player of the Year in 2007.  Before that, Nakamura began his professional career with J1 League club Yokohama Marinos in 1997.  Later,  he played with Reggina in Serie A.  After he left Celtic, he played briefly for Espanyol. He played in three WC Finals, but he was not selected for the WC in 2002 at home. 

FW/LW: Bertie Auld  (Scotland)
As a player, Bertie Auld made more than 200 appearances in the Scottish League playing for Celtic, Dumbarton and Hibernian, and more than 100 in the Football League in England with Birmingham City. He won the European Cup in 1967 with Celtic.  He also earned three caps for Scotland early in his career.  He earned 10 caps for Scotland.

FW/LW: Bobby Lennox (Scotland)
With Celtic, Bobby Lennox won eleven League medals, eight Scottish Cup medals, and five League Cup medals (scoring 63 goals in the competition) and was a member of the 1967 European Cup winning Celtic team, known as the Lisbon Lions.  He also played in NASL for Houston Hurricane in 1978. He played 10 times for Scotland.

FW: Henrik Larsson  (Sweden)
Henrik Larsson was the most important Swedish player of his generation.  He first amde a name as a young player at the WC Finals in 1994.  He went on to play in the World Cup Finals in 2002 and 2006, earning 106 caps.  He is also known for his 7 seasons with Celtics, where he was considered to be the best player playing in Scotland at the time.  With Celtics, he won the European Golden Shoe.  He also helped the team reach the 2003 UEFA Cup Final against Porto.
Henrik Larsson

RW/FW: Patsy Gallacher (N.Ireland/Ireland)
Patsy Gallacher was nicknamed "Mighty Atom".   He was considered one of the greatest Celtic's players ever.  The 1925 Scottish FA Cup Final was called "the Patsy Gallacher" final after he scored a somersault goal. He played for Falkirk at the end of his career. He played 12 times for IFA (now called Northern Ireland) and one time for FAI (Republic of Ireland) in a game against Spain at the age of 41, the oldest ever debutant for their team.
Patsy Gallacher
ST: Jimmy McGrory (Scotland)
McGrory is the all-time leading goalscorer in top-flight British football with a total of 485 goals. For Celtic, he is their top scorer of all time, with 469 goals in 448 games and holds their record for the most goals in a season, with 57 goals from 39 games(1926–27). He has also notched up a British top-flight record of 55 hat-tricks, It could be argued he in fact scored 56, as he hit 8 goals in a Scottish League game against Dunfermline in 1928, also a British top-flight record.  With Scotland, he was capped 7 times, scoring 6 goals.
Jimmy McGrory
CF/LW: Jimmy Quinn (Scotland)
Quinn was Signed for Celtic by Willie Maley from junior club Smithston Albion in 1900. He scored 216 competitive goals in 331 appearances – 187 in the league (273 appearances) and 29 cup goals in 58 appearances, 7 or 8 of those goals in finals (1904, 08, 09, & 1911). He won six successive championship and five Scottish Cup medals with Celtic and was capped eleven times for Scotland, scoring seven times, including four out of five goals v Ireland in 1908.

CF: Sandy McMahon (Scotland)
McMahon was one of Celtic's earliest hero.  He played for them 1891 to 1903, making at least 217 appearances and scoring 171 goals. He won three Scottish Cup medals(1892, 1899,1900) and four Scottish League medals(1893, 1894, 1896, 1898). He joined Nottingham Forest briefly in 1892, but he left without playing a game. McMahon played 6 times for Scotland between 1892 and 1902 and scored four goals in the 11-0 rout of Ireland in 1901. He also represented the Scottish League XI on eight occasions.

ST: Kenny Dalglish 
"King Kenny" was the greatest player for Liverpool in an era where Liverpool was considered to be among the greatest club sides in history.  He won three European Cups with them. He is the cap record holder and their top ever scorer for Scotland. Dalglish won the Ballon d'Or Silver Award in 1983, the PFA Player of the Year in 1983, and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1979 and 1983. In 2009 FourFourTwo named Dalglish as the greatest striker in post-war British football.
Kenny Dalglish 

Honorable Mention
Dan Doyle, Marc Riepper, Paul Elliott, Jackie McNamara, Alan Stubbs, Stan Petrov, Neil Lennon, Jim Brogen, Emilio Izaguirre, Willy Maley, Tosh McKinlay, Tommy Burns, Jimmy McStay, Willie McStay, Bertie Peacock, Duncan Mackay, George Connelly, Malky MacDonald, Murdo MacLeod, Scott Brown, Jimmy Delaney, Chris Sutton, John Hartson, Stevie Chalmers, John Hughes, Frank McGarvey, Jimmy McMenemy.

Squad Explanation
-- Celtic's greatest achievement was being the first British club to lift the European Cup in 1967.  The team was collectively known as Lisbon Lions. Ronnie Simpson, Billy McNeill, Tommy Gemmell, Jimmy Johnstone, Bobby Lennox, Bertie Auld and Bobby Murdoch   made my all-time team.
--  Jimmy McMenemy should be on the team, but I cannot find space for him.
-- Nakamura is not on many all-time lists, but he deserved it.
-- Scott Brown was mentioned a lot, but I feel that the modern Celtic team is not as good as the classic teams.  


No comments:

Post a Comment