CELTIC teen ace Rocco Vata is in seventh heaven after scoring on his debut during the team’s runaway 7-0 win over SC Wiener Viktoria in Austria last night.

The 17-year-old attacking midfielder, son of former Hoops star Rudi, sealed the triumph for Ange Postecoglou’s side in their opening pre-season outing when he raced clear to nonchalantly stroke the ball high past the helpless keeper for the final strike.

Adding to Rocco’s delight was a tweet from Albanian president Ilir Meta who passed on his congratulations to the promising youngster whose famous dad won 59 appearances for the country between 1999 and 2001.

MAGNIFICENT SEVEN…Rocco Vata seals Celtic’s runaway win in Austria with his first goal for the club.

The hit kid, who is under contract until the summer of 2024, came on for birthday Bhoy James Forrest, 31 today, at the start of the second-half with the team already six goals ahead with efforts from Johnny Kenny (2), Mikey Johnston, Reo Hatate, Christopher Jullien and Forrest.

Celebrity Celtic fan Meta has been monitoring Rocco’s progress since he was snapped up by the Hoops academy at the age of seven – signing his first pro deal last summer.

The Albanian leader wrote: Rocco Vata – A shining star

“First game for #CelticFC’#s seniors!

“First goal for #CelticFC’s seniors!

“Another of his great success which deserves to be greeted. I wish him the best of luck!”

CONGRATS…the message from Albanian president to Celtic youngster.

Rudi Vata won the Scottish Cup in the Parkhead side’s 1-0 win over Airdrie in 1995 and, after being signed by Liam Brady, went on to become a cult hero with the fans.

He met his wife Ann Frances during his time in Scotland, young Rocco was born in the country, but has represented the Republic of Ireland at youth level.

Eligible to represent the Irish through his Dublin-born gran Ann, the highly-rated prospect also qualifies for Albania, Scotland and Montenegro.

Postecoglou, meanwhile, revealed he has targeted at least two more new faces as he continues to add to his squad.

The Greek-Australian gaffer, speaking to the Scottish Sun, admitted: “We know what we need and we’ve identified some players who potentially could fit in that mould.

“But, like I said, we won’t go into that final stage with anyone else at the moment until I’m convinced they’re coming to the football club for the right reasons.”


About Author


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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