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Henrik Larsson Recalls Inspirational Martin O'Neill Team Talk At Anfield

Darren Holland
By Darren Holland
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It seems somewhat remarkable that Henrik Larsson and Martin O'Neill spent just four seasons together at Parkhead. During their time together, the pair won six domestic trophies and finished runners up to José Mourinho's FC Porto in 2003.

In that time span,  the Swede became one of the most clinical finishers in Europe under O'Neill's guidance as he bagged himself 173 goals in just 203 games.


Despite winning the much coveted Champions League with Frank Rijkaard at Barcelona, it was the Irishman who he considers to have been the most influential during his playing days.

In the January issue of FourFourTwo, Henrik Larsson participated in a Q&A with fans. To which one reader put the question to him; 'Who was the best manager that you worked under in your career?'

I had many good managers: Wim Jansen, Martin O'Neill, Frank Rijkaard and Alex Ferguson. And Martin knew how to get everybody motivated.

I remember when we were about to go onto the field at Liverpool in the season we reached the UEFA Cup final - we'd drawn 1-1 at Celtic Park so had to score at Anfield. The talk he gave before the game made everything sink in for me. I said to myself 'Fucking hell, I will have no regrets after this game.'

Celtic emerged from the Anfield tunnel in inspired form as two monumental goals from Alan Thompson and John Hartson secured the Glasweigan club's place in the semi-finals. Evidently, Martin O'Neill had a crucial part to play in what succeeded the opening whistle.


Larsson would later leave for Barcelona where he seized the opportunity of winning European silverware the second time around. The striker provided two assists that evening to gift the Catalan club its first Champions League trophy in 14 years.

SEE ALSO: A Heartfelt Tribute To Henrik Larsson's Iconic And Magical Dreadlocks


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