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PersonalFullname: Harald Martin Brattbakk
aka: Harald Brattbakk
Born: 1 Feb 1971
Birthplace: Trondheim, Norway
Signed: 10 Dec 1997
Left: 10 Jan 2000
International Caps: 17
International Goals: 5
BiogNorwegian striker Harald Brattbakk will always hold a place in Celtic hearts after scoring the goal that guaranteed Celtic stopped Rangers from securing a record 10 league championship in a row.
Harald arrived in Glasgow in December 1997 from Norwegian champions Rosenborg with a reputation as a lethal striker with an impressive domestic and European scoring record. However once in Scotland he soon earned a name as a penalty box blunderer rather than plunderer as he proceeded to spurn goal scoring chance after glorious chance. At times his glaring misses in front of goal verged on the comical and unfortunately he quickly became a figure of fun for the press and media.
Despite misfiring so spectacularly in front of goal it was impossible to feel any animosity towards a guy who was so clearly hard-working, honest and an all round good egg. Although by God he did test our patience.
But when Harald did hit the net it was a cause for celebration and the Celtic support were delighted when he bagged all four goals in the 4-0 demolition of Kilmarnock on February 21st. By then Celtic and Rangers were going head to head for the title in a nail biting battle which was set to go down to the final day.
Celtic knew a win at home to St Johnstone would give them the title and stop the dreaded 10-in-a-row. Henrik Larsson's 30-yard screamer had given the Hoops an early lead but they had failed to capitalise on this and as the match wore on the nerves became more and more apparent. With the game entering it final quarter Brattbakk came off the bench for Simon Donnelly and was soon to write himself into Celtic folklore. With 18 minutes left Jackie McNamara fired in a wicked low cross from the right wing and with the Saints defence motionless Brattbakk rushed in to strike the ball home from close range. Bedlam. Harald's goal kicked started the party to end all parties and the man so often the villain was now the hero.
It was never to get much better for Brattbakk at Celtic. He would continue to miss more chances than he would score and eventually he was barely a fringe player. Whatever the reason why he couldn't translate his goalscoring form for Rosenborg to the Scottish game is a mystery and the fact is when wearing the Hoops his performances in front of goal were all too often poor. Was it our system that was the problem as some asked? Was it just him?
Likeable and dignified, most supporters desperately wanted Harald to be a success but it wasn't to be and he left for FC Copenhagen for a reputed £650,000 in 2000 after 20 goals in 60 appearances (including substitute) for the Bhoys.
That wasn't the last Celtic fans were to see of Harald. He returned to Rosenborg in July 2001 and in October that year having been the butt of so many jokes in Scotland, he was to have a last laugh when he scored against the Celts in a 2-0 Champions League victory which all but ended the Hoops' hopes of progress in the competition that season. Irony of ironies but many fans had actually forecast that this would happen. Possibly proved that when he was at Celtic, the problem was largely that we didn't play to his strengths.
He finished his career with Rosenborg after a brief spell on loan to Bodo / Glimt.
He has subsequently retrained as a commercial pilot and now flies for a Norwegian commercial company out of Trondheim.
Quotes“Any player who has the chance to join Celtic should grab it with both hands. It’s a huge opportunity and something you really can’t say no to. I know how big it is. I know how honoured I was to play for the club. ...When I was there I had the best time of my career. To be part of that period was amazing for us and it’s something I’ll never forget."
Harald Brattbakk (2010)
“Old Firm games are very special. I loved going away to Loch Lomond with the team in preparation for the matches. My fondest memory of playing Rangers, in my time at Celtic, was the New Year derby of 1998. I roughed up Richard Gough and gave him two black eyes.”
Harald Brattbakk (2010)
|Club||From||To||Fee||League||Scottish Cup||League cup||Other|
|Rosenborg||01/07/2001||Signed||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||15 (2)||3|
|FC Copenhagen||10/01/2000||31/05/2001||£ 650,000||No appearance data available|
|Celtic||10/12/1997||10/01/2000||£ 2,000,000||27 (16)||12||6 (1)||4||0 (0)||0||6 (2)||4|
|Rosenborg||01/08/1995||10/12/1997||No appearance data available|
|Totals||£2,650,000||27 (16)||12||6 (1)||4||0 (0)||0||21 (4)||7|
|goals / game||0.27||0.57||n/a||0.28|
Honours with CelticScottish League
Harald Brattbakk: Celtic can still catch RangersThursday, 25 February 2010 15:17 Source: "The Away End": Link
Giving Richard Gough two black eyes my best Old Firm memory reveals Norwegian striker
By Gary McDaniel
Former Celtic striker Harald Brattbakk believes the hoops can overturn Rangers seven point advantage just like Rosenborg did in the Norwegian League in his second spell there in 2002.
The big Norwegian striker is fondly remembered by Celtic fans for netting the clinching goal in a two-nil win over St Johnstone in 1998 to prevent Rangers from achieving ten in a row.
Brattbakk’s time at Parkhead was one of mixed fortunes but regards his spell as the highlight of his career. The 39 year old, who is now a pilot in his homeland, believes Tony Mowbray should be given the time to turn around his former club’s fortunes.
He also regards giving ex-Gers defender Richard Gough two black eyes as his best memory of playing in an old firm game.
The former Norwegian internationalist also has a high regard for fellow countrymen Thomas Rogne, who he believes could be a big star for Mowbray’s side.
“Old Firm games are very special. I loved going away to Loch Lomond with the team in preparation for the matches. My fondest memory of playing Rangers, in my time at Celtic, was the New Year derby of 1998. I roughed up Richard Gough and gave him two black eyes.” Brattbakk beamed.
“I still follow Celtic as they are one of the biggest teams in the world. It’s fun following all the buzz which goes on at a club like Celtic. I know they have struggled of late but Tony Mowbray needs to be given time to build a strong team.
“Sunday’s game is a massive match but there can never be too much pressure in such a game. It is how the players cope with it that will decide the outcome of these derbies.
“With regards to Celtic overhauling Rangers advantage, it can be done. When I was at Rosenborg in 2002 we were ten points behind with twelve games remaining. We dug deep and eventually won the league by eight clear points.” Brattbakk said.
Celtic look set to give young Norwegian defender Thomas Rogne an old firm debut but Brattbakk believes his former team have signed a true star in the 19 year-old. “A definite star of the future.
He is still quite inexperienced but if you are good enough, you are old enough,” he added.
Brattbakk looks back on his time in Glasgow as one of the highlights of his career, especially that last day drama in 1998.
“Stopping Rangers doing ten in a row and winning the title on the same day is probably never going to happen again. It was the most memorable day of my career. Although beating AC Milan at the San Siro while at Rosenborg is up there as well.
“The team of 98 all met up a couple of years ago to celebrate the 10th anniversary of that momentous day, it was a fantastic weekend,” he added.
The former record scoring Rosenborg striker is now an airline pilot and admits it was the only job he could have done to match the thrill of being a footballer after giving up the game.
Brattback said: “I had one goal after retiring; to find a job that was equally as fun as football. Being a pilot flying a corporate jet isn’t too bad.”
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