Former Premier League striker John Carew was asked the toughest defender he came up against in his career.

Playing for teams such as Villa, Rosenborg, Valencia and Lyon it’s fair to say he’s come up against the best football has to offer.

The Norweigan though reserved special praise for one man in particular when asked who is the toughest defender he played against.

“I played against John Terry, he was a tough defender but he wasn’t the toughest.”

when pushed to answer who was he replied:

“Bobo Balde, horrible man” he said with a jovial grin.

John came up against Bobo Balde when Celtic and Valencia went head to head in the UEFA Cup back in 2001 – it was a physical encounter to say the least between the two giants.

Valencia won the home game 1-0 against Martin O’Neill’s side and the bhoys returned the favour with a 1-0 victory of their own in the knockout competition.

With the game on a knife-edge, it eventually went to penalties where Celtic lost 5-4.

It’s testament to Bobo’s defensive style that 14 years later, Carew still hase vivid memories of the big man.

Scott Brown spoke recently about Balde and how at game time the player was absolutely no nonsense.


  1. 3 Bobos’ at the back and we’d be invincible, never forgave that bastard Mourinho for his antics in Seville that got Bobo sent off the ncut. HH


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