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The 19-Year-Old Former Celtic Ball Boy Who Ruined Pep Guardiola’s Perfect Start

Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney has now figured in two shock results for the Hoops in the UEFA Champions League — their stunning 2-1 win over Barcelona in November of 2012 and their not-as-stunning-but-still impressive 3-3 draw with Manchester City on Wednesday night.

Both matches were at Celtic Park.

But the 19-year-old’s role against City was certainly different than his task against the Blaugrana in 2012.

After all, on that cold November night he was still just a ball boy at Celtic Park, a ball boy who happened to be part of the celebration after then-Hoops striker Tony Watt scored what turned out to be the winning goal in the match.

That night, Tierney made only a brief cameo in Celtic lore. Watch here as Watt runs off toward the sidelines to celebrate his tally, and briefly embraces the young man who, three years later, would go on to make his debut in the Hoops starting XI. 

Tierney, who was born on the Island of Man, grew up a Celtic supporter, and signed with the club at the ripe age of seven. He rose through the youth ranks and earned his first start, in 2015, under Ronny Deila.


Since then, he has become a fixture at left-back, known for his intelligent play, pace and crossing ability. In fact, although Tierney featured in Celtic’s Europa League matches last season, Wednesday night marked his home Champions League debut, and he passed the test against City with flying colors.

His cross in the 20th minute created Celtic’s second goal. The tally was originally credited to Tierney but later correctly changed to a Raheem Sterling own goal. 

It wasn’t quite a Tony Watt high “Watt-age” moment, if you will. But it certainly showcased the young star’s immense talent and why Scotland national team manager Gordon Strachan has included him in the team for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers

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