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Larsson heroics have new Bhoy Lustig dreaming

By Ronnie Esplin

Celtic new boy Mikael Lustig revealed he caught the Parkhead bug by watching fellow countryman Henrik Larsson play for the Hoops.

The Sweden defender, 25, will officially become a Celtic player tomorrow after his transfer to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League leaders was completed yesterday.

Lustig, who agreed a three-and-a-half-year contract in November after leaving Norwegian side Rosenborg, almost inevitably referenced legend Larsson, who starred at the Parkhead club between 1997 and 2004.

"Henrik Larsson put Celtic on the map in Sweden," said the right-back. "I watched many Celtic games when he played here and Celtic have many fans cheering for them in Sweden.

"I haven't spoken to him but he has spoken a lot about the club and Glasgow.

"I have known about this for two months. I always thought it was a great club for me and I have been waiting for this moment, so now I am here it is perfect."

Lustig, who first became aware of Celtic's interest 18 months ago, was in attendance at Parkhead on Wednesday night as Neil Lennon's men beat Rangers 1-0 to go two points clear of their Ibrox rivals at the top of the SPL table.

The former Rosenborg defender insisted that the game whetted his appetite for life at one of the Glasgow giants.

"It was my first live Old Firm game and the atmosphere was really good," he said. "I heard the game was something special and it was, it was really nice. I was sitting in the crowd with a smile.

"I come from Rosenborg and I know what it is like. Every game is a pressure and every year you want to win the league so it is the same. I am quite a calm guy and I think I am going to handle it very well." Lustig will become Celtic's fourth international right-back with Wales' Adam Matthews and Cha Du-ri of South Korea battling for the position at the moment and Scotland cap Mark Wilson ready to start back in full training next week following knee surgery.

The lanky defender, while not ready for the SPL clash with Dunfermline at Easter Road on Monday, declared himself up for the challenge. He said: "I hope it is going to be hard, that will mean we have good players here."

* Celtic midfielder Beram Kayal will be out for at least a month with the ankle injury sustained in Wednesday's Old Firm match.

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