Celtic’s Efe Ambrose vows to stop Lionel Messi in Champions League

The former Ashdod defender is relishing the prospect of facing the Barcelona superstar as he begins life with the Scottish champions


New Celtic of Scotland defender Efe Ambrose is relishing his team’s Uefa Champions League cracker against former champions Barcelona and Spartak Moscow.

Ambrose has vowed to stop the attacking forays of the world’s best player Lionel Messi and compatriot Emmanuel Emenike when their clubs meet in the group stages of this year’s competition.

The Nigerian moved to Celtic from Israeli side Ashdod in the just ended summer transfer window.

“Lionel Messi is not a stranger to me because I was in Nigeria’s U- 23 team that played the final against Argentina in the 2008 Olympics,” Ambrose told Goal.com.

“I also played against him in our friendly match in Bangladesh last year. So he won’t pose much problems to me because I will do my best in marking him out when Celtic and Barcelona slug it out in the Champions League.

“I have also told [Spartak’s] Emenike that he should watch out for me because I will give him serious challenge when our teams meet.

Ambrose expressed happiness at joining the Scottish giants and vowed to make the best use of his stay at the club.

“I want to prove to Celtic that they can rely on me and the only way I can do so is to play well for the team and help them achieve both League and European competition success. At least that would send signals to Celtic fans that I have come there to help the team achieve laurels.

“So I had to rush back to the club immediately after the Liberia match. Now I am in Israel to pack my luggage and travel with my wife and my new born baby as we hope to be in Scotland this weekend and start a new life in Celtic.

“My mission in Celtic is to first and adapt to the environment and the team’s philosophy on time. I need to adapt to the style of play, the weather, food and everything that is associated with the club.

“I just have couple of days before the Champions League but the league is on already. But it is a pity time is not on my side but I am a very resolute and determined person so I believe I will surely cope.

“I just have to go there and prove myself and justify my inclusion in the team as well as make the coach’s first team list for all matches,” a determined Ambrose offered.

He also told doubting soccer loving Nigerians to believe in the Super Eagles because according to him “we are condemned to beat Liberia in Nigeria and by the special grace of God we will be among the teams in the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. Nigerians should believe in us, pray for us and support us. We won’t disappoint them,” he concluded.