Ljungberg Joins Celtic

Former Fire DP could debut in Old Firm derby

 

Swedish midfielder Freddie Ljungberg has signed with Scottish giants Celtic and could make his debut in Sunday's Old Firm derby against rivals Rangers at Ibrox.

The 33-year-old passed a medical exam on Thursday, and the club's website announced the signing later in the day.

Ljungberg, who joined the Chicago Fire as a Designated Player midway through last season, was out of contract after the Fire decided not to pick up his option. He had been training with Celtic all week.

"While Freddie's time with the Fire was brief, he made an immediate impact on the team both on and off the field, and we wish him the very best with Celtic FC," Chicago Fire technical director Frank Klopas said. "He's a gifted player and natural leader who quickly gained the respect of his teammates, Fire staff and our fans."

Ljungberg had a storied career at Arsenal from 1998-2007, during which he won two EPL titles and three FA Cup medals. He joined the Seattle Sounders at the beginning of their 2009 inaugural season, scoring two goals and adding nine assists en route to an appearance in the playoffs.

He tallied two goals and seven assists for the Fire in 15 appearances.

"I want to say that I had an amazing time in Chicago and I really mean that," Ljungberg said. "The city was great and so were the people of Chicago who I felt embraced me in a great way. I built a strong relationship with the fans and that was something that always meant a lot to me."

"I want to wish Carlos and the team all the success. I loved playing under Carlos with his offensive style and beautiful passing game."

"I made a lot of great friends both in the club and off the pitch. Although its sad to leave, I take with me many happy memories."

"On a last note, I had 2 fantastic years in America and have seen MLS go from strength to strength and I would not trade my time there for anything in the world."

"We think he's got great caliber," Celtic manager Neil Lennon told media earlier this week. "He's been a world-class player for a long time."

Celtic are currently top of the Scottish Premier League and sit just a single point above rivals Rangers, who have played two fewer games.

Toronto FC captain Dwayne De Rosario has also been training with Celtic, though both the club and the league have claimed they did not authorized the session.