Massimo Donati, who Celtic fans will warmly remember, has revealed he was ‘thrilled’ when he got the call to join the club during his playing career.

Donati joined Celtic from Italian giants AC Milan in 2007, having spent the entirety of his career before that with various clubs around Italy.

He went on to make 50 appearances for Celtic in the next two years, winning both the Scottish Premiership in 2007-08 and the Scottish League Cup the following year before returning to Italy with Bari in 2009.

He enjoyed a second spell in Scotland later in his career, turning out for Hamilton Academical and St. Mirren before moving into the coaching side of things.

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Celtic remain his club in the country, though, with him often speaking of his affection, something he’s again shared.

“I was thrilled when I got the call from Celtic; I felt ready to measure myself in such a context and to play the Champions League,” Napoli Magazine report him saying.

“From that club, I knew the coat of arms and the shirt; I found myself in a truly fantastic world.

“I was so good that I embarked on a path as a footballer and as a coach.

“Furthermore, I have always liked a typical Scottish custom, which I would like to see in Italy: the technicians meet after the meeting to have a beer and exchange opinions.”

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While enjoying success domestically, it was perhaps in the Champions League where Donati really made his name with Celtic.

He was part of the squad that beat the likes of AC Milan, Benfica and Shakhtar Donetsk in the group stages in 2007, as well as featuring in their narrow defeat to Barcelona in the last 16 that year.

Indeed, it was Donati’s goal that handed Celtic the win over Donetsk in Group D, with the Bhoys finishing second behind Milan that year, a success he remembers fondly.

“I spent unforgettable Champions League nights with Celtic,” he added.

“In fact, in the group, I found myself Milan, which had sold me the year before, and which we beat in the return match, represented a small revenge.

“Furthermore, I will never be able to forget the goal scored at the end of the match that decided the match against Shakhtar.

“It was a match that had the flavour of a play-off for qualifying for the round of 16, perhaps the highest and most intense moment of my career.”