Former Celtic defender Adam Matthews has opened up about his time at Celtic and how signing for the club came out of the blue.
The Welshman spent four years at the club from 2011 until he left for Sunderland in a £2.5m deal in the summer of 2015 (TransferMarkt).
During his time at the club he won titles, played in the Champions league and was one of the starting XI the night Celtic beat Barcelona in 2012. The defender touches upon the victory against the Catalans and recalls being starstruck on the famous night which will go down into footballing folklore.
“It was a great honour to sign for Celtic. It was unexpected, it came out of the blue.” Matthews told London News Online.
“They are a huge, huge club. People say the league is not great and blah, blah, blah – but any football game is tough.
“I loved every minute of it – playing in the Champions League, Europa League and the Old Firm matches.
“It was definitely the best moments of my career.
“I was sad to leave.”
On beating Barcelona, the defender said:
“It was a weird feeling.
“You’re star-struck but there is also so much Adrenalin that you feel extra sharp.
“The crowd was so loud at Celtic Park you couldn’t hear the Champions League music as you walked out.
“We had to concentrate for 90 minutes and everyone who played that night did that.
“We went for a couple of drinks afterwards in a local Glasgow bar that stayed open for a couple of hours.
“Nothing too mad because we had a game at the weekend.”
Adam left Sunderland in the summer and was a free agent for a decent period of time before the 27-year-old found a new base at Charlton. Far away from the bright lights of Celtic Park.
It was widely accepted at the time Matthews wanted to leave Celtic in 2015 to pursue a Premier League dream. Some players can go on to have top careers down south after Celtic but there are others like Matthews and Hooper who will no doubt consider Celtic to be the highlight of their career – perhaps not for their bank account but for purely footballing reasons.