“Henrik Larsson always scores.” The clip shows Celtic fighting back through Larsson against Porto in a pulsating 2003 UEFA Cup final.
My memories of Larsson will always be defined by the Swedish striker entering the game in the 2006 CL final against Arsenal late in the second half. Barca were down a goal and Arsenal were playing surprisingly well given that Lehmann had been sent off early in the first half.
Larsson changed all of that in his final match for Barca. He set up Samuel Eto’o with the equalizer in the 74th minute and then six minutes later, from the right flank delivered a cross to Juliano Belletti who scored the game winning goal. It was Barca in the end with Larsson responsible for those lethal blows
The pain felt after that was immense. The match had so many if only….. but mixed in with those conflicted emotions was admiration for the Celtic legend. A special player had ended Arsenal’s dreams. Thierry Henry after the match.
“People always talk about Ronaldinho, Eto’o, Giuly and everything, but I didn’t see them today, I saw Henrik Larsson. He came on, he changed the game, that is what killed the game. Sometimes you talk about Ronaldinho and Eto’o and people like that; you need to talk about the proper footballer who made the difference, and that was Henrik Larsson tonight.”
Larsson was a big time player and even now in his twilight, the Celtic Park faithful would love to have him back. He won four SPL titles and in those six years, he top scored in five. He is also fourth on the all time Celtic goalscoring list with 174 goals. He did it without fuss whilst being the consummate professional.
It was a tearful farewell as Larsson played his last match in his glittering career as Helsingborg lost to Djurgarden. Fare thee well, King Henrik! You will be fondly remembered by your fans everywhere in the world.