You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Boli Bolingoli reveals the Celtic disrespect that drove their record breaking Europa League qualification

Daily Record logoDaily Record 12/12/2019 Michael Gannon

Celtic stunned Boli Bolingoli’s cousin to silence with their stunning win in Rome but Jordan Lukaku is back on the blower to the Hoops ace now his Lazio side are needing a favour.

The Parkhead full back admitted the banter was cut short after Celts stunned the Serie A men in Glasgow and in the Stadio Olimpico last month.

But Bolingoli revealed his cuz has finally been back in touch with the Italians needing Celtic to beat Cluj this evening to give them the chance to reach the Europa League knockout stages.

Lukaku wasn’t listed in the Lazio squad for their Euro campaign after an injury hit year.

But he’s been back in the side in Serie A of late and is hoping the family ties can give him a crack on the continent in the New Year.

Bolingoli – who was snapped up from Rapid Vienna for £3m in the summer – said: “I got a message before we left Glasgow from him saying we’d better win the game because they need to go through.

“For him he’s talking because he hasn’t played yet. He cannot play but he hopes he can have more minutes in the next round.

“I said to him, ‘you do your job, I will do mine’.

“Most of the time we speak after Europa League games about what happened.

“Let’s say after the first Lazio game he was saying we were lucky and the second game was coming so we’d see what happened then.

“The second we showed them again so I was like, ‘what happened now?’ He couldn’t say anything!

“The messages stopped. I was like ‘thank you, bye!’”

a man standing on a stage: Jordan Lukaku © Getty Images Jordan Lukaku

It wasn’t just Lukaku who Celtic managed to force to eat their words this season.

Boligoli reckons the Hoops have proved plenty of people wrong with their success in Europe this season and he’s convinced they can continue to do so well beyond Christmas.

Cluj boss Dan Petrescu insisted Celts can dream about winning the Europa League and the defender doesn’t disagree after the Scottish champs skooshed a potentially brutal group.

Bolingoli said: “A lot of teams underestimated us, like Lazio, the last game against Rennes. They came with a B team and I was like ‘we are Celtic, show us some more respect’.

“We showed we are a big team with quality players.

“We are first and I think if you see the whole campaign we deserve to be first and let’s hope we can continue until the end.

“When I came here I said with this team we can go very far. If we continue like this with the way we’re playing and the same mentality we can go very far and hopefully we can maybe even win the cup.”

Celtic have already won a trophy this season, of course. The club are still in celebration mode after lifting the Betfred Cup in Sunday’s epic clash with Rangers.

Bolingoli had to watch on from the stands as he just lost out in his fitness battle and he admitted it was tough viewing from the sidelines.

He said: “I was really nervous on Sunday. I don’t know why. It was a difficult game. It feels different when you’re on the bench or watching from upstairs.

a group of men playing a game of football: Joe Aribo is denied by Fraser Forster © SNS Group Joe Aribo is denied by Fraser Forster

“I even watched the penalty because I was really confident about Fraser Forster. He’s doing very well and hopefully he can help us a lot more in the future.

“When you see the players playing you want to be out there. But it was a nice game and I’m very happy to have my first cup medal with Celtic.

“After you forget everything. Just to win against Rangers, if you play or not you don’t think about it afterwards.

“I can only be proud to be a part of this team. Of course you want to play but it’s a final. When you win you forget everything.”

Boligoli would rather forget the last few weeks of injury absence and get back out on the pitch.

He’s set to start in Transylvania this evening along with a cast of support players who will get their chance to shine.

The likes of cup hero Forster, Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard will have a few days off but it’s a big night for those who travelled.

Bolingoli said: “The coach is giving a few players a rest. It’s important for me to get some minutes again after a few weeks injury.

“The game is going to be a nice one to give chances to other players who haven’t played and to show their qualities too.

“The coach knows we have a big squad.”

Bolingoli’s cousin can rest easy though as the fringe men won’t be just looking to make up the numbers.

There’s a determination to give Neil Lennon plenty to think about while keeping the unbeaten run going and finishing the group with a flourish.

Bolingoli said: “Every game we go into we go to win it. This game is the same. Even though Cluj need a point we want to go back with three points and to finish the Europa League campaign in a good way.”

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Daily Record

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon