Former Celtic winger Bobby Petta outlines how shining in Old Firm contest can see you earn cult-hero status

Celtic Stands

The 41-year-old gave Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen a torrid time during a clash in 2000.

Bobby Petta has seemingly challenged Celtic's players to earn cult-hero status in Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final with Rangers just like he did with a particular performance when the Old Firm met nearly 16 years ago, the Evening Times reports.

The winger had to wait until his second season at Parkhead before he was given his first taste of a game against the Light Blues. But it is safe to say that his Old Firm bow was worth waiting for as he gave countryman Fernando Ricksen a torrid time to help the Hoops take a 3-0 lead inside the first 11 minutes. 

Petta's performance was so good that the Rangers full-back was substituted after just 23 minutes of the game that the Bhoys would go on to win 6-2 in a season that would see Martin O'Neill's men win a domestic treble.

And while Ronny Deila cannot emulate that achievement this time around, a victory against their bitter rivals would give them a great chance of winning a league and cup double. 

And ahead of Sunday's game, Petta has explained what a fantastic performance can do for your career.

"That was my first one and when you see what happened - he was substituted, we won 6-2 and I played well. It was great because it set the tone for me," he told the Evening Times.

"If you can play well in an Old Firm game it lifts the spirits of the fans and you win the fans over. That's what I had to do and that's what happened.

"It's such a big thing for the players of both teams, especially the younger ones, because it is the first of many for them and you want to make sure you give it all you've got."

With both teams boasting relatively young squads, many taking to the Hampden Park pitch will not have featured in a game of this magnitude before, so will be looking to make the kind of contribution - much like Petta did - that sees their name become synonymous with this fixture for years to come. 

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