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  • Guidetti: Enjoying life a game at a time

    Guidetti: Enjoying life a game at a time

    By: Mark Henderson on 05 Nov, 2014 07:58

  • JOHN Guidetti’s glut of goals since arriving on a season-long loan from Manchester City has made him an instant fans’ favourite in Paradise.

    The clamour among supporters for the Swedish striker to make the move permanent has increased every time he has found the net and it reached a crescendo last week following his stunning hat-trick against Partick Thistle.

    Quizzed repeatedly on the topic at several press conferences, the 22-year-old has described his enjoyment at life with the Scottish champions but refuses to look further ahead than the next game.

    There is good reason for this short-term approach. It wasn’t so long ago that Guidetti was forced to contemplate giving up the game he loves.

    Just as he was earmarking himself as one of the hottest talents in European football after a sensational season at Dutch giants Feyenoord, where he averaged almost a goal a game, Guidetti was suddenly struck down by a mystery virus that threatened to wreck his career.

    Through sheer strength of mind and the support of those closest to him, he eventually made a full recovery. But it drummed home to him the fragility of a football career.

    Now Guidetti ensures he treasures every moment on the pitch. Scoring goals and playing in front of passionate and dedicated supporters, the Hoops hit-man couldn’t be happier at current events.

    But grounded and grateful, he will never take it for granted: when you come so close to losing something, you appreciate everything.

    “It was difficult as people said I may never play football again,” he told this week’s Celtic View in an exclusive interview. “When you love something so much and someone tells you can’t do it any more, you get scared.

    “But I never stopped believing and those close to me never stopped believing in me either and that’s why I am standing here today. Celtic gave me the chance to start playing and show I can still play, and I’m happy.

    “It took me about one-and-a-half to two years to get back and then after that it’s a process, obviously. I want to thank James Baldwin, a physio at Man City, who was amazing with me since day one and was always there for me. He was a true hero who helped me through so many things. He was there from day one all the way to the end.

    “He said he never stopped believing in me, I never stopped believing and my close ones never stopped believing, and I’m so thankful to be playing football again. You appreciate it so much because you can’t take it for granted as one day you can wake up and it can all be gone. 

    “That’s when you realise how lucky and blessed you are. That’s why you have to cherish moments like last Wednesday when you go out and play in front of fantastic fans that sing for the whole game and play with amazing players like we have in our team.

    “I always had a big desire, but I was just afraid I wasn’t going to be able to play football. Of course, you want to be successful but I love the game and want to play football and I was scared. But now I can do it and I’m extremely happy.”

    He added: “When you play for a club like Celtic, it’s an honour to wear the shirt and you have to cherish every moment.

    “I just want to keep playing as long as I can and just enjoy it – go out and give 100 per cent every time I go out and play.

    “If you start looking too far ahead you aren’t going to be successful. You just have to think about the next game and if you try to prepare and do that every time, and a determination to perform next time, it will end up being a successful career.”

    To see the full interview with John Guidetti, see this week’s Celtic View, out now.

    To subscribe to the View, click HERE

    To download or subscribe to the digital version, click HERE

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