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Stipe Pletikosa : 'I'm sad I didn't sign for Celtic'


UEFA Champions League Qualifier: Celtic v Spartak Moscow Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

As part of our Celtic V Spartak - Ten Years On Pod, we'll be getting perspectives of that remarkable match from a few angles, and one of them will be the goalie for Spartak that night, Stipe Pletikosa.

Stipe was unable to stop Celtic going through on penalties, but the Croatian, who played for his country at World Cup 2006 and 2014, as well as Euro 2008 and 2012, spoke fondly of his memories of that evening to GIGPOD, despite being on the losing team.

Pletikosa was also on trial with Celtic in 2011 when his contract expired with Spartak, and featured in pre season friendlies against Cardiff and Wolves, but Neil Lennon decided not to sign the Croatian international and eventually opted for Fraser Forster later that summer.

'I was gutted not to sign for Celtic because I spoke to Stevie Woods, and he was satisifed with me. I had a problem earlier that year with my knee, but I trained well and I felt no pain. I was in contact with Peter Lawwell more than Lennon when I was at Celtic, and perhaps there was a disagreement on me between them.'

Despite that setback, Stipe has no grudges and said that the Celtic Park atmosphere will always be special to him, adding 'The noise that night in that match in 2007 wil always stay with me. It was unbelievable. The Celtic fans care deeply about football, about their club and are very passionate, and I still have my goalkeeper top from my trial with Celtic in my collection at home, which is important to me'.

Pletikosa is now studying for a UEFA Pro License in coaching back in his hometown and finished by saying that if he's ever over in Glasgow again, he'll make sure he gets along to Celtic Park, either for a game, or a tour. What a guy!

You can hear him talking about the Celtic V Spartak game in August, subscribe to GIGPOD so you don't miss it!