‘Celtic were interested in me back then’ Brazilan legend opens up on nearly signing for Celtic

Brazil legend Rivaldo has opened up on how he nearly signed for Celtic – as Martin O’Neill had targeted the World Cup winner to replace Henrik Larsson.

The Brazilian star was a free agent after leaving AC Milan, and was on the radar of many clubs in Europe – but he ended up at Greek heavyweight Olympiacos.

He said, looking back on Celtic: “Some British clubs offered me a trial, Celtic and Bolton spring to mind.

“At the time it surprised me because I was in good form when I left AC Milan, so I did not understand their offer and the objective of it.

“Yep, I remember that Celtic were interested in me back then. I do not remember if we ever met to discuss it. I think Celtic sent an offer, like many other clubs at that time.

“I had meetings at Manchester, London and Liverpool. Sir Alex Ferguson was interested as well as Tottenham, we even had a meeting with Daniel Levy and Liverpool, Gerard Houlier called me.

“We also had a meeting in Manchester with Bolton’s president and their manager Sam Allardyce.

“I suppose there was no direct contact with Celtic. There was an offer, but it didn’t go as far as the ones from Man United, Liverpool or Bolton.”

He said, about Rangers interest in him: “Rangers were also interested in me at that moment in my career and I appreciated their interest.

“About what club would I have chosen is tough.

“I know there is a big rivalry between the clubs and I would have probably chosen the one that I envisage as a better professional project to continue my career at that time.”