Which Celtic player impressed most in the 12 match Champions League campaign?
Was it Victor Wanyama starring in defence and midfield, Georgios Samaras with his goals away from home, Fraser Forster for his displays home and away against Barcelona and away to Helsingborgs, Gary Hooper for his goals home and away against Spartak Moscow or perhaps Kris Commons for the nerve to score from the penalty spot at home to Spartak?
Forster and Charlie Mulgrew were the only players to start all 12 matches in the trail that led from Helsinki to Turin as the hoops re-established themselves among the European elite.
The debate over who was Celtic’s best player over the 12 games is certain to spark fierce debate with so many candidates and different criteria to consider.
In no particular order I’ll review the contribution of the main players then throw the floor open to a poll to find out which player made the biggest impact on the Celtic support.
VICTOR WANYAMA– Had his share of disciplinary issues suffering two suspensions during the campaign but looked truly at home against the might of Barcelona and their celebrated midfield. The African was able to step up to match whatever opponents he faced with his headed goal against Barcelona demonstrating his eye for goal.
FRASER FORSTER– Showcased his ability away to Helsingborgs and caught the eye of an English audience leading to an international call up. Followed that up with stunning performances home and away against Barcelona that saw his image plastered across newspapers the length and breadth of Spain.
GARY HOOPER– Missed the home matches against Benfica and Barcelona but excelled in both matches against Spartak Moscow with two great strikers goals crucial to Celtic’s victories last night. Hooper played mainly as a sole striker during the campaign and was clearly targeted as a major threat by Juventus who took man marking to new levels in their trip to Celtic Park.
GEORGIOS SAMARAS– Some may question the validity of his claim for the Celtic goal in the Nou Camp but there was no doubting his strikes away to Benfica and Spartak Moscow. His last minute goal in the Russian capital ignited Celtic’s campaign following on from crucial goals in the qualifiers against Helsingborgs and HJK Helsinki.
KRIS COMMONS– Certainly took one for the team with a horror injury in the win over Spartak just minutes after crashing in the penalty that took Celtic through as runners up to Barcelona. Opened the scoring away to Helsingborgs and linked up well throughout the tournament with Hooper providing an edge to Celtic’s effective five man midfield.