Christopher Jullien has fit into Celtic’s team without any problems.
Moving from Toulouse in the summer transfer window, the 26 year old is now at a club where he has a great chance of winning trophies, and he also gets to play in European competition.
It could all have been very different.
Breaking through as a youngster with Auxerre, Jullien found himself in a car crash at the worst possible time, but it gave him the shock he needed to become more dedicated to his football career.
Speaking to France’s RMC on Monday, the Celtic player told the story of when, as a 17 year old, he was responsible for an accident.
From the Paris area, he’d been driving to the French capital when the club informed he’d be training with the reserves the next day, which was a big step up. Instead of going straight back, he continued to Paris and decided to spend the night there before driving back early.
It was the wrong decision.
“I fall asleep at the wheel and we had an accident. It was shocking when I woke up, all my limbs are blocked, the car is smashed and destroyed. Five minutes later, the reserve coach calls me.”
Rather than tell the truth, the Celtic player said he was fine, before quickly realising he wouldn’t be in the right state to train: “I was crying beside my car, I call the coach back and I tell him a little lie, that I was sick. I did not tell them the truth. His tone of voice changed directly: ‘Ok, you’ll train with the 17 years old this afternoon.'”
When he did turn up at the club, Jullien was warned that he risked ruining his career before it had even started, and for the next month he arrived at training an hour early each day.
From Auxerre, the defender moved to SC Freiburg and then Toulouse, and finally made the switch to Celtic this year.