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NIR BITTON

Midfield
Date of Birth: 30 Oct 1991
Debut: v AC Milan 18 Sept 2013
Nationality: Israel
Signed: 30 August 2013

The versatile and highly reliable Israeli midfielder is one of the longest-serving players in the team and can always be relied upon to keep a cool head on any stage.

Bitton arrived from his homeland in the summer of 2013 where he came up through the FC Ashdod youth system. Having played all of his football up to that point in Israel, not much was known about the then 21-year-old.

Nir can always be relied upon to keep a cool head on any stage.

He had however, already been capped at senior level for his national side by the time Neil Lennon brought him to Glasgow, and he was regarded as one of the brightest talents to emerge from Israel. Bitton made his debut in the 2013/14 season against AC Milan in the Champions League and was showing great progress that season before a groin injury in March cut short his inaugural campaign in the Hoops.

He hit the ground running the following season, though, scoring his first goal for Celtic in the opening game in a 3-0 win away to St Johnstone.

He bookended a successful campaign with a second goal in the penultimate home game of the campaign in the form of a superb 30-yard strike to cap off a 5-0 win over Dundee. The Israeli internationalist continued to develop and was on excellent form throughout the 2015/16 season as Celtic clinched a fifth successive league title. He scored eight goals that season, some of which were highlight reel-worthy long-range shots. The faith different Celtic managers have had in Bitton was evident when he was asked to help an injury-hit defence. Bitton began helping out in central defence at the onset of the 2017/18 campaign and was instrumental in helping Celtic qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

Bitton has now played his part in no fewer than 16 trophy-winning Celtic sides ever since his first title win with the Hoops in season 2013/14

COUNTRY BHOY
Nir Bitton has long been a key figure in the Israel national set-up having earned his first cap in a friendly against Uruguay back in May 2010. He now has 30 caps at senior level to add to the 44 won between Under-17 and U21 levels.

“If you get the chance to stay at Celtic you stay. It’s a massive club.”

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