Wed, May 21, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Celtic's player may get his 200th goal in FC Porto match


Glasgow Celtic's prolific goalscorer Henrik Larsson could score his 200th goal for the Scottish club when he faces FC Porto in the UEFA Cup final on Wednesday.

Larsson has netted 199 in six seasons with Celtic, although the Swede said Monday that he is not desperate to reach a double century.

"It would be nice, but if I don't score that's no problem for me. That goal can come when it comes," Larsson said.

"If you look at the team and how they have been performing this season there have been goals coming from everywhere."

Among a tally of 42 this season, Larsson has scored nine times in nine UEFA Cup appearances. His most recent came in the 1-0 win at Boavista that booked Celtic's ticket to the final, a game he said would be the most important of his career.

"I have come third with Sweden at the World Cup in '94. But playing in the UEFA Cup final, this is the biggest one for me," he said.

Larsson's finest season was in 2000-2001 -- Celtic coach Martin O'Neill's first season in charge -- when he won the Golden Shoe as Europe's top scorer with 53 goals, including 35 in the league.

His marksmanship, after a double leg fracture early in the previous season, propelled Celtic to the Scottish league title and the two domestic cup competitions.

Larsson, who has twice won the Scottish Player of the Year award, will be policed by Porto's uncompromising defender Jorge Costa on Wednesday, although there's no doubting the striker's own toughness.

"Before a game, I always tell myself that it will hurt and that it should hurt. I know I am very strong, that I am stronger than them," Larsson said.

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