Today is the 59th birthday of Celtic’s Slovakian genius Lubo Moravcik

Today is the 59th birthday of The Gift from God, Celtic’s Slovakian genius that is Lubomir Moravcik.

Lubo is one of the greatest players I’ve seen pull on the Hoops, and quite possibly one of the best ever. He arrived in Scotland as an unknown quantity and just like his mentor Dr Jozef Venglos, his arrival at Celtic was mocked and ridiculed by the Scottish mainstream media.

A 33 year old has been, one of Dr Jo’s pals, was the cry from the poisonous media. Our good pal Hugh Keevins famously said “I don’t know what I find more laughable, the fact that cannot find £500,000 from the biscuit tin to sign a proven talent like John Spencer, or the fact that they spent £300,000 on one of Dr Jo’s old pals, the unknown Lubomir Moravcik”.

Well Lubo wasn’t unknown. A quick check of his career would have told doubters like Hugh Keevins that Lubo was a gifted player who had played at a high level in France and Germany and had represented Czechoslovakia at the 1990 World Cup finals. He was anything but unknown.

Lubo Moravcik and Dr Jo

That wasn’t in their narrative though, and as usual they were under orders to stick the knife into Celtic at any given opportunity with headlines like ‘Celtic sign dud Czech’. Yes, the hack even got Lubo’s nationality wrong, writing in a newspaper that folk actually paid for.

Keevins and the rest of the Scottish media ‘succulent lamb’ pack were soon introduced to Lubo when the Slovakian made them eat their words when he scored a double in a 5-1 thumping of Rangers. A Celtic legend was born.

In his four year stay at the club Lubo won the hearts of the Celtic supporters. He was a fantastic footballer with two great feet, great vision and an eye for goal. He wasn’t afraid to get stuck in either, he was no shrinking violet. He was the complete player, he could even control the ball with his backside!

9 Nov 2000: Lubo Moravcik of Celtic celebrates scoring Celtic’s first goal during the UEFA Cup Second Round, Second Leg match between Celtic and Bordeaux played at Parkhead in Glasgow, Scotland. Mandatory Credit: Mark Thompson/ALLSPORT

Lubo shined under the guidance of Martin O’Neill and won several honours, even getting his first taste of champions league football. The night against Juventus in October 2001, he was the best player on the park in a famous 4-3 win over the old lady. Outshining the world class talent in the Italian sides ranks, he looked right at home.

It was a shame he had to wait until the latter stage of his career to play at the top level. Could you imagine if we had a signed a 25 year old Lubo? His value would’ve been priceless. Maybe it was just meant to be.

I’m glad I got to see such a talented player in the flesh strut his stuff in the hoops. He’s a legend and one of the best talents to have played in Scottish football. Here’s to you Lubo, Happy Birthday.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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