Nir Bitton is delighted he was able to leave Celtic on a high after nine trophy-laden years at the club.
The 30-year-old Israeli moved to Parkhead in 2013 and savoured several memorable moments with the Hoops.
After the nightmare 2020/21 campaign, in which Rangers halted Celtic’s momentum, Bitton was thrilled to be able to call time on his career in Glasgow at the end of a season in which his side reclaimed the title, giving him an 18th trophy in his time at the club.
“It’s all about the success of the team,” he said in an emotional interview with Celtic TV. “Every time I stepped on to the pitch I tried to give my best for everyone that trusted me to do it and for my team-mates.
“For me, the only thing that mattered was the success of this club to win as many trophies as I could.
“I had an amazing nine years which have come to an end now, it’s better to leave on a high with an amazing manager.
“No-one gave us a chance at the beginning of the season and we showed that we are built differently and I’m happy to be part of it.
“I was very fortunate to play for this club as long as I did, I never take it for granted. I always tried to give my best for the people and the club and I hope I did it.”
Bitton feels his time at Celtic has exceeded all expectations.
“I never thought this day would come, but now it’s come it’s a really sad day for me,” he said.
“This is all I know, this club, I’ve been here for nine years as a foreigner, I came here as a young boy.
“If you told me when I signed here that I would stay for nine years and win 18 trophies and make more than 270 appearances I would have bit your hand.
“It’s just a great achievement for me and my family and I’m just glad I had the opportunity to play for this amazing club, be part of this decade of the club and I’m very sad to leave.
“This club gave me a lot, it transformed me into the person and player I am today.
“I’m just glad I had the opportunity to play for this club and have these memories, win as many trophies as I won and make memories for life that will stay with me forever.”