Split loyalties for Larsson

PA Sport
Henrik Larsson celebrates during his playing days at Celtic

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Henrik Larsson celebrates during his playing days at Celtic

Henrik Larsson admits to split loyalties ahead of the Champions League play-offs between Celtic and Helsingborg.

The former Sweden striker became a Hoops hero for his exploits during his time at Parkhead but started and ended his playing career with the Allsvenskan outfit.

Talking to Celtic's official website he said: "This is a really tough one for me and I am caught in the middle between Celtic and Helsingborg. Helsingborg gave me a start in European football and Celtic made me the player I was, so it is not easy for me to pick one over the other."

And the media interest following Friday's draw was similar to what Larsson experienced when he played for Barcelona against the Glasgow side in 2004.

He added: "It reminds me of when I was at Barcelona and we were drawn in the Champions League against Celtic. My phone never stopped and yesterday was no different. I came out of training and had about 15 missed calls. I thought to myself that Celtic must have got Helsingborg in the qualifier."

Celtic travel to Sweden for the first game on August 21, with the return game taking place at Celtic Park the following Wednesday and Larsson believes that might suit the Scottish champions.

He said: "It won't be easy for Celtic to go and pick up a win, but if I was pushed I would say that having the home match second may just give a slight advantage to them.

"A lot of people have mentioned Helsingborg's start to the season but they are the champions and finished second the previous season. If you look at how they play they are very good defensively and don't concede many goals."

A little more spice was added to the tie on Friday when Alejandro Bedoya signed for Helsingborg after leaving Rangers.

The United States midfielder, 25, decided against staying with the Ibrox club who are now in Irn-Bru Division Three.

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