Lubo Moravcik in Rangers one liner as Celtic legend explains muted celebration against biggest rival


Celtic idol Lubomir Moravcik reckons his old club will be guaranteed a fifth treble in six seasons if they beat Rangers in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final.

With the Premier Sports Cup already in the bag and Ange Postecoglou’s side six points clear with only five Premiership games to go, he insists engravers can start putting their name on the trophy if they claim a third successive win over Rangers this weekend.

Moravcik – who also revealed why he didn’t celebrate his first goals for the Hoops – said: “Celtic are almost champions but not yet.

“It’s a big opportunity to win a treble. You need to play this game like it’s the final of the European Cup, like it’s the last game of the season.



Lubo Moravcik scores past Rangers keeper Stefan Klos in April 2001

“After that you’ll play against either Hibs or Hearts, which is easier than playing a final against Rangers. You have to treat the semi-final as the final.”

Moravcik also warned Rangers boss Gio van Bronckhorst to choose between progressing in the Europa League and the Scottish Cup.

He said: “Everyone wants to win everything but it’s hard three days after playing Braga to play Celtic, especially without a big player like Alfredo Morelos.

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“If you’re greedy you can end up with nothing. If you focus on one then maybe you win it.”

And the Slovakian wizard finally explained why he didn’t celebrate his double in a 5-1 win over Rangers at Parkhead in November, 1998.

He just shrugged his shoulders as he put his side – trailing Walter Smith’s men by 10 points – 2-0 up, claiming it was partly a dig at journalists who thought he was past it at 33 and partly because he felt it wasn’t worth to fuss. Dr Jo Venglos had paid £350,000 to German minnows MSV Duisburg for the veteran.

And Moravcik said: “It was like ‘Now you can see what I’m able to do’ – there was no celebration because it was easy for me to score goals like that.

“I would celebrate when I scored goals against Marseille or PSG but against Rangers? It was nothing for me.

“Seriously, there was a little bit of pressure on me that day. Only Mr Venglos believed in my qualities and he told me before the kick-off: ‘This is a very important game for you and for me.’ So thank you gaffer – no pressure!

“Rangers had a strong team – van Bronckhorst, Jorg Albertz and Arthur Numan – it wasn’t easy to prove myself against them. But it was absolutely perfect because I scored with only my second touch.

“It was a great moment, especially when I saw the reaction of the crowd and what it meant to them.

“My second goal was unusual, I didn’t score many with my head but it was important for me and for Mr Venglos, it proved he signed a good player.”

● Moravcik was speaking to promote ‘An Evening with Martin O’Neill’ at the SEC Armadillo on May 29. O’Neill will be joined by Moravcik, Chris Sutton, Paul Lambert and Jackie McNamara – see ticketmaster.com.




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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