By Will Butcher
Celtic wonderkid Moussa Dembele has revealed his “dream” is to play in the Champions League for the Scottish Champions.
The former Fulham striker joined the Hoops this summer and became new manager Brendan Rodgers’ first signing, as the 43-year-old saw off competition from some of Europe’s finest.
Speaking to the Daily Express, the 19-year-old prodigy spoke of his earliest memories of the Champions League and how he looked up to stars like Ronaldinho.
“My heroes were Ronaldinho, Ronaldo – the Brazilian one – Samuel Eto’o, Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka,” he said. “I didn’t follow one particular team, I just watched every big game.
“The one that sticks in my mind is the 2005 final between Liverpool and AC Milan. I was hoping that one day that could be me.
“I used to dream about playing in the Champions League and the World Cup, and started to work towards that.”
The striker has hit the ground running in Celtic, after scoring the goal that sent Celtic through to the third qualifying stage of the Champions League. The 92nd-minute winner gave Celtic a 2-1 win against Kazakhstan side Astana.
French youth international Dembele, who has drawn praise from Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, also revealed that he always wanted to be a professional footballer.
“I was about nine years old and even then I knew I wanted to become a footballer,” he said. “As a French kid I loved both Henry and Anelka, they both had a lot of ability and talent.”
“It would be a dream for me to play in this competition. To be there doing it myself instead of watching would be amazing, something crazy.”
Dembele is set to lead the line for the Hoops against Israeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Wednesday as his side look to qualify for the Champions League group stages.
In other Celtic news, Rodgers has provided an injury update on these two senior players.