If the name Erik Sviatchenko is uttered around Celtic fans you will rarely hear a bad word said about the former Parkhead defender.

The Dane always showed commitment, both on and off the field.

Buying into the club in a big way when he came over under Ronny Deila, the defender was a great champion of Celtic’s charitable roots and would never turn a fan away if they wanted a picture or a short chat with him.

Let’s not forget the player was very much a part of Celtic’s first treble winning season under Brendan Rodgers where the bhoys went a whole domestic season unbeaten.

As the player returns to Glasgow and speaks to MailSport about his time with the club, it hurts that little bit more that he was riding so high before his eventual fall from the first-team.

Erik played 63 times for Celtic during his time with the club and showed himself to be a good defender on his day, of course, not every game was a knockout, but if you’re a defender who has taken part in an invincible season – you can take a lot of pride from what you have achieved.

Asked about what went wrong at the club which saw him loaned out to his former side FC Midtjylland last January, the player is still none the wiser.

‘Who knows?’ he told Sportsmail. ‘Maybe in two or three years’ time I will sit down with Brendan for a coffee and ask what I should have done differently.

‘It was difficult to go from being such a big success at a club to being effectively a nothing.’

The player is not wallowing, nor is he asking for sympathy. Instead of sulking he went back to his homeland and won the title with Midtjylland before making the move permanent this summer.

However, Erik’s affection for the club shines through as he talks about them now.

‘Then there was the joy in playing for a successful team. Celtic is one of the top ten clubs in the world that people know about. There is nothing bigger, club-wise, unless you go to Manchester United or Boca Juniors.

‘So much happened. Life in general was so successful, it was so good.’

Erik will be guest of honour at Celtic Park on Saturday when the Bhoys take on Dundee, hoping to hammer home their advantage at the top of the SPFL.



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