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CHEERS AND TEARS FOR NEW BHOY JURANOVIC

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NEW Bhoy Josip Juranovic has revealed Celtic legend Artur Boruc gave his £2.6million move to the Hoops his seal of approval.

The Croatian international right-back sealed his switch from Legia Warsaw yesterday before Ange Postecoglou’s side’s 6-0 demolition of 10-man St Mirren at Parkhead.

Juranovic scored a belter of a goal in his farewell appearance for the Polish outfit in their 2-2 draw against Slavia Prague during the week and is Cup-tied for his new club’s Europa League play off final return leg against AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands on Thursday night where they will protect a 2-0 advantage.

The defender, 26, has agreed a five-year contract with Celtic after discussing the move with the Glasgow team’s icon Boruc who is still going strong at 41 with Legia and helped them to the title last season – 11 years after quitting for Fiorentina.

Juranovic said: “Considering how good and happy I felt at Legia, it was not an easy decision to sign for Celtic. But, on the other hand, it is easy to look at the sports aspect of it.

“Celtic are a great club, it’s a step forward for me. So, from this point of view, I had no doubts.

“I spoke to Artur Boruc after the last game. I know he’s a legend in Celtic. I will try to get at least close to what he achieved there.

“I also looked at the possible transfer with regards to how Celtic play. Celtic are the dominant team in the Scottish league, like Legia in Poland.

“That means we will be attacking the opponents’ goals all the time and that will allow me to show my attacking qualities.

“Moving to Celtic also helps my international chances in the future.”

And Juranovic, in a report in the Daily Record, added: “I know the fans are angry they have sold me between European matches, but that’s not really a question for me.

“Legia have given me so much and I will never forget them. That’s why I so wanted to play in my final match against Slavia Prague and I am glad the manager trusted me.

“To score that goal in my final match will be something I remember for the rest of my life. And it was probably the best goal I have ever scored in my career, so it was a fun way to say goodbye.

“Some players take different approaches when they know they are definitely leaving. Some guys don’t want to play in case they get injured. I could never do that.

“So, yes, I had an injury before the game, but I wanted to play despite the pain and took painkillers.

“When I signed for Legia, my goal was to become Polish champions and I managed to help the club win that trophy.

“It was an absolutely unique moment that will stay with me forever.

“I want to say thank you to the Legia fans for letting me be part of their great club. I will definitely be back some day.”

Meanwhile, the Polish club have published heartwarming footage of Juranovic saying goodbye to his teammates.

Boruc was first up to give him a massive hug in a touching moment as the player made his farewells which were caught on camera and published on Legia Warsaw’s Twitter.

The clip shows Juranovic addressing his team-mates: “Guys, what can I say? I am here only one year and because of you, I play in the national team and I make this transfer.

“Thank you so much.”

Juranovic is likely to be included in Postecoglou’s squad for the first Glasgow derby of the campaign against Rangers at Ibrox a week today.

 

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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