Vidar Riseth has discussed the unlikely back story to his opening goal in the 2000 League Cup Final.
Twenty years ago Celtic were in real turmoil. The John Barnes experiment had ended disastrously, Kenny Dalglish was a very reluctant manager and worst of all Henrik Larsson was out injured after sustaining a serious leg break away to Lyon. At the end of the season Celtic finished 21 points behind Dick Advocaat’s Rangers side.
It wasn’t the best build up to a cup final but fortunately Aberdeen were in even worse condition under Ebbe Skovdahl.
Mark Viduka was Celtic’s main goal threat but from the sidelines Larsson had a notion over who was going to open the scoring at Hampden.
Picking up on a Brobod podcast hosted by Hamilton’s Markus Fjortoft The Sun reports:
“Henrik Larsson had broke his leg, he was in the stand. We couldn’t win the league but we could still win the cup, and it was so important for us to win this cup for the fans and for the club.
“Everyone expected we would win this game. When we came to the stadium and to the dressing room, I went out to warm up and Henrik came and said, ‘Vidar, come here’.
“He had just had his operation. He came up to me and said: ‘Vidar, I have a strange feeling today’.
“I said, ‘what?’
“‘Yeah, I think you’re going to score a goal’.
“I said: ‘Henrik, I play at right-back, I don’t score so often. You believe I’m going to score a goal?’
“‘Yeah, do you know what’s really strange? I put £200 on you as the first goal scorer!’
“I said to Henrik, ‘I cannot promise you anything but we will see’.
“After I scored the goal and we went up to collect the trophy, Henrik’s standing there and he said: ‘Vidar, I’m going to buy you the drinks for the rest of the night!'”
Riseth only scored one goal all season, opening the scoring at Hampden after 15 minutes to ensure that his Swedish team-mate had an extra bonus from the match. In 70 matches for Celtic Riseth scored five goals before joining 1860 Munich.
A year later at the 2001 final Larsson scored a hat-trick in Celtic’s 3-0 win over Kilmarnock in the first leg of their treble success.
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