Nir Bitton has explained why he went against the club’s wishes and played for his country at Hampden on Thursday night.

Neil Lennon told the media there was absolutely no chance Nir could play in the tie after picking up an injury in the Europa League for Celtic.

However, not only did he play, the Celtic utility man went into extra time and penalties with his country.

His sacrifice for the national team ultimately came to nothing with Scotland knocking out Israel on penalties.

Speaking today to PLZ Soccer, Bitton tried to explain himself:

said: “Celtic is the club who pay my salary but as a person, as a professional athlete, I couldn’t give up on this game.

“These are the games you dream of playing when you are six years old.

“Even the day after the injury I told the medical staff at Celtic that I wanted to give myself a chance. I twisted my ankle very badly away in Bosnia and I didn’t believe I could make it.

“On the way back home on Friday I was on crutches, I was in a wheelchair and I couldn’t even walk on the foot.

“But I wasn’t going to rule myself out of the game until I knew that I couldn’t play.

“I never give up, I always try to push myself to the limit but to be honest the medical staff here did an unbelievable job, they treated me like their child with treatment three times a day.

“I played this game only because of them and I understand the frustration of Celtic. I was glad I made it but it is a bit frustrating now.”

There’s doubt surrounding Nir’s Derby status at the minute and if he’s perhaps set himself back by playing the full game and over time.

Neil Lennon will understand to a degree but with so much uncertainty ahead of the derby game, losing Nir could be yet another blow.

We will have to wait and see.


  1. Time for Bitton to get on his bike. Permanently injured for us and taking a fortune in wages. Can’t play for us but can play 120 minutes for Israel. Waste of a wage

  2. Do not release any more players to the israeli’s,taking the cunt is one thing,but being out and out blatant about it is another,bench bitton until someone wants to buy him and tell elhamed that the club will no longer release players to a football association that goes against the wishes of his parent club…………Hail Hail

  3. Have absolute distaste for the artificial state that is named israel!!! Never a big fan of Bitton before partly because he was crap and partly because he was in the israeli forces but he is playing well for us right now!! And i know this mightnt be popular with alit of hoops but i’m a big fan of lads putting it in for their country. Its proper love of the jersey stuff. Standard nowadays is much poorer but lads arent in it for the cash its for the flag and in many ways that should be respected. How many prima donas havent turned out for Scotland or Ireland just cuz they’re too saft?!?! Id rather boots on the pitch!!!


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