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.