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Scottish Cup

Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata explains the moment he realised how big Old Firm rivalry is

The Belgian is set to experience the contest for the first time next weekend.

Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata has explained that the moment that a passport official spoke to him about the upcoming Scottish Cup semi-final with Rangers weeks before the game was the moment that he realised how big the Old Firm rivalry actually is, the Daily Record reports.

The centre-back is yet to have played in a game against the Light Blues, but with Erik Sviatchenko facing a race against time to prove his fitness (via BBC Sport), he may well be in the side that Ronny Deila selects for the clash at Hampden Park.

And while he may have previously not appreciated the significance of games between the two clubs, he insisted that he is no longer under any illusions about how important the game is.

"I got stopped at the airport by the
people taking my passport and they said: 'Oh, you play for Celtic? Be ready for that game'," he told the Record.

"I was surprised at that because at the time we still had four games to get through before we were due to play Rangers. I don't think we should put any pressure on
ourselves because we have had a long season but it is a good chance to end the campaign well.

"When I signed I was told the derby, Celtic against Rangers, is the biggest game you could ever have especially in terms of the atmosphere."

With Mark Warburton's men clinching promotion back to the Scottish Premiership on Tuesday, the game arguably takes on extra significance given that the winner will surely have the momentum for when the clash becomes a league fixture once again next season.

And with the Light Blues getting the opportunity to secure a league and cup double when they face Peterhead in the final of the Challenge Cup on Sunday, the Hoops will be desperate to ensure that they quash any remaining chance of their foes securing a treble while also maintaining their own hopes of winning the double. 

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