Celtic hero Ryan Christie admits he struggled to control his emotions

Ryan Christie last night admitted he had to fight back the tears after his goal secured the Betfred Cup for Celtic.
The forgotten man of Parkhead at the outset of the season, the midfielder struck in first-half injury time at Hampden to set Brendan Rodgers' side on their way to a record-equaling seventh straight honour and elevated his personal renaissance to a new level.
The 23-year-old's parents, dad Charlie and mum Sharon, made the trip from Inverness to see their son put Aberdeen to the sword.
And Christie, who spent a total of 18 months on loan at Pittodrie, admitted he struggled to hold it together when he glanced towards them at the final whistle.
'It was amazing for my mum and dad to come down and see me,' he said.
'When the final whistle went, I looked up and managed to catch eyes with them.
'I got a bit emotional myself when that happened because it has been a long road.
'I'll be honest, it was pretty overwhelming for me.
'It was always going to be a strange day in any case coming up against Aberdeen and it shows that football can work in funny ways sometimes.
'Seeing them brought that overwhelming feeling of happiness and I was delighted for them to be able to see that.'
Christie had spent 18 months on loan at Aberdeen under Derek McInnes and may well have returned there on a permanent basis had fate not dealt him a different hand.
Having come off the bench to turn the semi-final against Hearts, he seized his opportunity with both hands to win a new three-year contract.
'I wouldn't say I had given up on it, but there was a lot of talk in the summer and I didn't really know where my future was,' he reflected.
'But the manager has been so amazing for me ever since I signed for Celtic.
'He sat me down and told me I still had a fighting chance at Celtic, so it was up to me to take that chance.
'From there it's been about working hard and making sure that I took the chance when it came along.
'I need to kick on and try and make a proper impact.'
Christie's father signed for Celtic in the 1980s but failed to make an appearance for the club.
After the final whistle yesterday, Rodgers joked that his player would no longer be known as Charlie's son - but his father would be forever known as Ryan's dad.
'He (Charlie) was joking with me about it,' Christie smiled.
'He has helped me so much in my career and it was nice to almost pay him back here.'
Reflecting on a spell that's seen him become a regular fixture in Rodgers' side as well as becoming a mainstay for Scotland, he added: 'It's been a great spell. I have been wanting to do things like this ever since I signed for Celtic.
'Obviously, it's been a very long road to get here, but it's nice to not just play but make an impact of games.
'That's my job as an attacking midfielder to score goals and chip in with assists.
'When it comes in a Cup Final, that makes it even better.'
Ryan Christie joined jubilant Celtic fans waiting at Parkhead last night, clutching the League Cup trophy he had sealed hours before
Christie won the 2015 Scottish Cup with Inverness Caley Thistle but was unable to feature in Aberdeen's 2017 Scottish Cup Final with Celtic due to the loan deal.
'I had great memories winning a trophy with Inverness and it was very frustrating when I couldn't play with Aberdeen,' he added.
'So to come back to this stage and manage to get silverware is amazing, especially given it's been a long road since that time of my career at Inverness.'
In winning the cup to add to the back-to-back Trebles they've already claimed, Celtic yesterday equalled Rangers' run of seven straight honours in the early 1990s.
Insisting there will be no let up in the pursuit of further trophies, Christie stated: 'Celtic are relentless. With other results on the day, we have been knocked off the top of the table, so we need to make that right as soon as possible.
'Hopefully, that'll be with two good wins this week and you cannot afford to rest on your laurels with this club.
'Motherwell are going to pose a big test for us on Wednesday night and we need to look to try and kick on from here and ensure we keep winning games.'

No comments found