By support

11th Oct, 2017 | 10:54am

Lustig makes huge claim about Celtic matches against Rangers, Ibrox faithful will hate this

By James Black

Celtic star Mikael Lustig believes the Old Firm clash has lost some of it’s “hatred” and “hype” following Rangers’ financial meltdown of 2012.

The Swede, who joined Celtic a little over a month before their bitter rivals entered Administration in February 2012, thinks the derby would be of greater importance if the two sides were closer in the league table.

Last season, the Hoops won five of the six games between the Glasgow giants as Brendan Rodgers’ side finished 39 points ahead of the Gers.

Celtic won this season’s first Old Firm clash 2-0 last month at Ibrox and Lustig insists Pedro Caixinha’s side are a long way from catching up with the Scottish champions.

“I don’t think it’s the same hype, the same kind of hatred that you had back in the day,” Lustig told Swedish podcast Tutto Balutto, as quoted by The Scotsman website.
“Rangers are nowhere near us now.
“I imagine the tighter it is, the more important it gets to win the derbies.
“We’ve won everything during my time here.”
The Old Firm clash is widely-regarded as one of global football’s biggest derbies and much of the “hatred” stems from the clubs’ perceived religious affiliations – Celtic historically have a strong Irish Catholic background while Rangers support was predominantly Scottish Protestant.
In recent years, much of the baggage that came with the fixture has dissipated as the clubs and authorities have looked to stamp out religious bigotry, as well as society in general becoming more secular and moving away from regular religious observance.
Celtic currently have a six-point lead over their rivals in the Scottish Premiership and the sides meet again on December 30th at Celtic Park.
Despite the perceived religious links each club has, both sides have had a host of players – and fans – from the other side of the “divide” and much of the hatred that still surrounds the fixture is perpetuated by a small number of fans on each side who view football as a vehicle for their own religious or political beliefs.
As the religious aspect of the rivalry has died off there has been a new driver for the rivalry in recent years with some Celtic fans insisting Rangers “died” in 2012 and are no longer the same club they once were and have even gone to the lengths of petitioning UEFA and FIFA, unsuccesfully, in a bid to have their view backed-up by the game’s governing bodies.

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