CELTIC will be on the hit list of every team in Scotland next season.
That’s the verdict of Lorenzo Amoruso who insists the Hoops will face a battle every matchday in their bid to win a record-breaking 10 in a row.
Neil Lennon’s men clinched their ninth successive crown last week when the SPFL bosses decided to bring down the curtain on the Premiership due to the coronavirus pandemic and award the title to the league leaders with eight games still to play.
The Parkhead side were at the pinnacle – where they had been since day one following their 7-0 victory over St Johnstone on August 3 last year – when football went into lockdown in mid-March with the club holding a 13-point advantage over Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit.
Italian centre-back Amoruso was part of Walter Smith’s side that failed in their bid to go into double figures in the magical sequence of flag victories in his debut season in 1997/98.
Celtic, with Wim Jansen in charge for his only season, halted the charge with Henrik Larsson taking centre stage.
Amoruso, speaking exclusively to the Daily Record, said: “It was my first season in Glasgow and one of the first things I realised was how badly every other team wanted to beat us. It seemed very obvious to me they tried harder against Rangers than any other team.
“Everyone wants to beat the big guys and Rangers are always the big guys. But that particular season, I felt everyone was trying even harder than normal.
“I didn’t play much of the season because I was injured from the start. But I could see it with my own eyes. They gave everything against Rangers, more than they gave against Celtic.
“Beating the team that is trying to get to 10 in a row is complicated – it’s not easy to achieve. But that’s the problem Celtic now face. The same problem we had back then.
HOORAY HENRIK…fans’ favourite Henrik Larsson celebrates Celtic’s title success in 1998.
“When you play against nine-in-a-row champions, it is normal for any player, if he is ambitious, to want to show them: ‘There is no life for you here today!’.
“You want to beat them and make a piece of history. Maybe for a week, maybe for two weeks.
“But if you beat Celtic next season then everyone will have a piece of history. That’s the way it is.
“Even for the managers, the target is obvious. Everyone is working for their own future and if they do well with their own teams, beating Celtic or Rangers, their name and reputation gets bigger.
“Maybe they have ambition to coach at Rangers and Celtic one day.
“If they have that kind of mentality then a harder life is waiting for Celtic at the beginning of next season.”
Amoruso insisted Neil Lennon’s players could struggle to cope with the pressure of attempting to make Scottish soccer history.
He added: “For Rangers, the pressure is always there. It doesn’t matter about Celtic and 10 in a row. That just gives the players another reason to try to beat them.
“The bigger pressure is on the team which has been winning. Celtic have won nine titles, but four of them were without Rangers in the league.
“Celtic know Rangers are getting closer because they showed it on the pitch.
“But Celtic will have problems against the other teams, too, just like we had all those years ago.”