CELTIC: A look at Riva's new home

KickOff.com takes a look at the current Celtic squad and the competition he'll have at the back.

Who are Celtic?

Arguably the most successful side in Scotland, Celtic was formed in 1888 and has seen massive footballing success since then. They have won 48 Scottish Premier League titles, 37 Scottish Cups and 16 league cups. They became the first British side to win the European Cup (now Uefa Champions League) in 1996/67. Their home stadium is Celtic Park which hosts over 60 000 supporters. 

Who’s the coach?

Former Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers is the man in charge at Celtic and has led the Scottish giants to win two league titles as well as the league cup, since leaving Anfield in 2015. He currently runs a rather young squad, with nearly half of the first team below the age of 23 – which could work well in Coetzee’s favour, as it provides a similar age setting to that of Ajax Cape Town.

Who plays at the back for Celtic?

Dedryck Boyata - The 23-year-old centre–back from Belgium, who has previously played for Manchester City, is a key component at the back but also has a knack for goals. He scored 5 times for Celtic last season.

Christian Gamboa – The 27-year-old is a speedy full back from Costa Rica who made 17 appearances last season, making use of his pace in both defense and attack.

Mikael Lustig – A Swedish veteran, who is 31, can play at both right-back and centre-back. He appeared 29 times and managed to turn in one goal last season.

Joze Simunovic – the 22-year-old Croatian centre-back has become a solid part of Celtic’s rearguard, appearing 25 times and scoring twice last season.

Kieran Tierney – the 20-year-old has made 83 appearances for the club since 2014 and has scored four goals.

Anthony Ralston – the 18-year-old is usually on the bench for Celtic, but looks promising for the upcoming campaign.

Africans at Celtic

Throughout the years, Celtic have had quite a few African players on their books, especially defenders who are well known on the continent. Guinea’s Bobo Balde, Nigeria’s Efe Ambrose and more recently Kolo Toure of the Ivory Coast have played for the Hoops.

Victor Wanyama, who is now at Tottenham Hotspur, also played for the club, as well as Ghana’s Mubarak Wakaso, Mo Camara of Guinea and Senegal’s Henri Camara. In the current squad, they have Ivorian midfielder Eboue Kouassi, the 19-year-old who can help Coetzee settle in at the club.

What does Rivaldo offer? 

He may not be the biggest of defenders, but Coetzee is a clever player who is calm in possession of the ball and is not the type to make rash tackles. He likes building from the back, which is what Rodgers likes. The experience he has gained at international level at a young age with Bafana will certainly come in handy.

Article by: Thaaqib ‘Benni’ Daniels