Mikael Lustig has today confirmed on Instagram that he will leave Celtic following 8 trophy laden years at the club. This news does not come as much of a surprise with Lustig hinting that his time was up on a previous Instagram post, his contract talks have been up in the air for some time and recently it has looked more and more likely he would leave. Lustig is a modern day icon at Celtic, a man who truly lives and breaths our club and it is only right we celebrate his 8 brilliant seasons here.
Lustig signed for Celtic in January 2012 having agreed a pre contract agreement with the Hoops from Norwegian champions Rosenborg, prior to his stay in Norway Lustig played for both GIF Sundsvall and Umea FC from his native Sweden. Lustig was a mini coup at the time of him signing for Celtic, the impressive full back had already made 23 appearances for Sweden and also had offers from Premier League side Fulham and Spanish team Espanyol. Lustig cited Sweden and Celtic legend Henrik Larsson as a key reason as to why he chose Celtic and that Celtic's attacking style of play suited him to a tee.
Lustig had to wait until the 3rd of March to make his debut away to Aberdeen in a 1-1 draw, he only made 5 appearances overall in his first season at the Hoops but was still worthy of a league winners medal.
The 2012-13 season saw Lustig battle against Adam Matthews for the right back position, Lustig appeared 39 times for Celtic with a number of those in the champions league as Celtic reached the last 16, Lustig also started the famous 2-1 win against Barcelona. He picked up another league title and a Scottish cup in his first full season at Celtic.
Lustig and Lennon celebrating Tony Watts goal in the win against Barcelona
The 2013-14 & 2014-15 seasons were much more frustrating for Lustig as injuries began to hamper the Swedes progress at the club, he made just 21 league appearances over those two seasons with the form of young Welsh right back Adam Matthews also keeping him out of the side. Lustig would still pick up another two league titles and a Scottish league cup but it was a frustrating time for the Swedish international. Neil Lennon was replaced with Norwegian manager Ronny Deila in 2014.
The next three years however would see Lustig become a mainstay of the Celtic team cementing his place as starting right back and being named vice captain, he would go on and captain the club a number of times in Scott Browns absence. Lustig would hit a career best 5 goals in the 2015/16 season before playing a key role in Celtic's invincible side of 2016-17 in Brendan Rodgers first season. Lustig and Celtic would pick up the first of three domestic trebles that year with Lustig netting past Rangers and also showing off his skills with a rabona assist against St Johnstone, a goal which was later nominated for the Puskas award. That season also saw a return to champions league action with Lustig starting in the impressive 3-3 draw at home to Manchester City.
Ball back pls
Over the last couple of seasons Lustig has been our first choice right back doing his best for the club, during this time we have completed another two sets of domestic trebles and Lustig has played his part in both of those. Lustig has given us a number of memorable moments including celebrating with a police mans hat during the 5-0 thrashing of Rangers.
Last season he scored a wonderful diving header against Aberdeen to help secure our 8th title in a row, this also helped cement his place as a modern day hero to us.
A character on and off the pitch, Lustig has been a fantastic servant to Celtic giving us numerous moments of joy over the years, whatever happens in the future Lustig should and hopefully will always be welcomed back at Celtic park as a hero and given the reception he deserves. We wish him all the best on his new adventure with Gent.
Lustig's Celtic Stats
8 Premier League Titles
4 Scottish Cups
4 Scottish League Cups
1 PFA team of the year