Video: Carl Starfelt says joining Celtic is a “huge honour”

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Carl Starfelt has declared that joining Celtic is a “huge honour” after the defender was paraded in the Hoops today. The 26-year-old joins in a £4.2m deal from Rubin Kazan and will be available to play in this weekend’s game against Hearts at Tynecastle.

The Swedish Internationalist put pen to paper, signing a four-year deal and following the completion of his quarantine, he is excited about getting started at Celtic.

“When Celtic call, you answer,” Carl Starfelt admitted that he had no hesitation in making the move to Paradise from Russia, and he’s already looking forward to his first training session with his new team-mates at Lennoxtown tomorrow. After that the NEW Celtic signing will get the chance to speak to some Celtic Supporters via a fan media conference which was organised this afternoon.

More importantly he’s ready and able to play against Hearts this Saturday night in the Scottish Premiership opener.

The 26-year-old Swedish international defender has joined Celtic on a four year deal from Rubin Kazan, and following a period of quarantine, he’s now arrived in Glasgow ready to begin the next stage of his football career.

“It’s a true honour to be here and to come here to such a big club with such a great history, and maybe the world’s best fans so I’m very happy. I had to be in quarantine for a time, so obviously it was very tough to see the boys play and not to be able to train with the team and help the team, so I’m very glad to be here finally and I can’t wait to get started.

“When Celtic call, you answer and I knew right away what I wanted to do, so I’m very happy that all this has gone through.”

Starfelt has already been in communication with the new Celtic captain, Callum McGregor. “He sent me a nice message and we spoke a little bit,” Carl explained. “Everyone I’ve been in touch with in the club so far has been very welcoming, so it’s nice that your team-mates help you get into everything.

“It will be nice to meet the team and learn how the team wants to play, to meet the coach and get into everything. I think everything will happen very quickly since there will be a game already this weekend, so I’m delighted to get going. I’ve been waiting for it for some time now.

“If the coach wants to play me (against Hearts), I will, of course, play and give 100 per cent, so that’s up to coach whether I play or not. I’ve been training the last few days and I feel ready.

“My hopes are, first of all, to get into the team, to know how the team plays and just get a good start. It’s always a little bit of adaptation when you come to a new club.

“I want that to be as smooth as possible, and then we have bigger goals – I want to be successful here, for the team to be successful, to win titles, to play in Europe – I want to do all those things. But I need to focus on the here and now, and right now it’s just to get into the group and the team.”

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Carl Starfelt becomes the ninth Swedish player to play for the Hoops, and among his countrymen are some illustrious names, including Henrik Larsson, Johan Mjallby and, most recently, Mikael Lustig.

Celtic’s latest Swede is hoping that he can follow in those footsteps and enjoy similar success in the green and white Hoops.

“Celtic has a great reputation in Sweden,” Starfelt said. “Most people know the history and when you think of Scottish football, you think of Celtic. Of course, we’ve had many Swedish players who did it very well here, and played very good here and played in the national team and did very well, so the club has a very high reputation.

“I didn’t play alongside Mikael in the games, although I’ve trained beside him, but the little I’ve spoken with him, he seems to have enjoyed it here a lot at Celtic, so I hope I will get the same experience.”

Defeat to FC Midtjylland means that Starfelt will be coming into Celtic while the club is at a low point but there is no point dwelling on the Champions League exit as we have the game in Edinburgh on Saturday evening.

Celtic need to sign a number of other players if they are to be competitive in the league and the Europa League. The manager said that he had failed to get the club sign some players in key positions.

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