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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 May, 2004, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Larsson enters hall of fame
Larsson's Celtic record
Henrik Larsson celebrates
Appearances: 315
Goals: 242
When Henrik Larsson bids farewell to the Celtic faithful on Tuesday he will enter the Parkhead hall of fame.

Some pundits even claim the Swede is the greatest Celtic star of all time.

Everyone has their own view, with younger generations tending towards a positive response, while those who have been around longer are more cautious.

But few will deny that he is among the best players Scottish football has seen and so, for the purists, Saturday will be a sad day.

The Scottish Cup final against Dunfermline marked Larsson's last competitive game for Celtic and, almost inevitably, he had a huge say in the match's outcome with two goals.

There is little left to write or say about the man, as the country's media publish supplements and transmit entire programmes dedicated to his contribution to the Scottish game, and to Celtic in particular.

But that in itself shows the esteem in which he is held in his adopted homeland.

Seldom have so many positive words been written about an individual player, to the extent that Rangers supporters must be on the verge of cancelling the papers and their television licence.

For Larsson has, for many of his seven years in Scotland, been the bane of their lives and they will be glad to see the back of him.

An emotional Larsson after his last league game
An emotional Larsson after his last league game
They will be as anxious as their counterparts on the other half of Glasgow's footballing divide to see who Martin O'Neill brings in to attempt to replace Larsson.

O'Neill knows better than most the pressure Larsson's successor will be under, and the Celtic manager will not be rushed into the transfer market to find his man.

A number of top-quality strikers have been linked with a move to Celtic Park, among them Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Robbie Keane.

Even players of that calibre will find it hard to emulate the success and adulation enjoyed by Larsson in the east end of Glasgow.

It seems churlish, then, to try to measure Larsson's quality or worth alongside other Celtic greats like Jimmy Johnstone and Kenny Dalglish.

For what it's worth, though, Dalglish said this week: "Henrik is up there with any player we've ever had playing in this country. Everyone has their own opinions about different players but I can't think of anyone better."

But perhaps it is better to reflect on the pleasure all of these players have brought and hope it is not too long before someone of similar quality graces the Scottish game.

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