The last time Ofir Marciano was at Hampden, he was there to cheer his friend Nir Bitton’s Celtic as they defeated Rangers in the League Cup semi-final. As he returns to the national stadium on Saturday, the Hibs keeper is hoping to set up a showdown with his pal in the final of this season’s Scottish Cup.
To do that Marciano and his Leith colleagues will need to get the better of Aberdeen and hope that Celtic can replicate their feat by beating their Glasgow foes the following day.
“That would be nice! We talk about it and joke about it,” he says of his dream for the final. “You never know, football is amazing, you don’t know where it can lead you. It would be nice to play against him there instead of watching him.”
He describes that initial trip to Hampden as an “amazing experience” and believes that playing there will be even better. But for the occasion to have the desired outcome, he will need to improve on his past record in knockout tournaments. “I have been in two semi-finals – and I lost! So I am hoping it might be third time lucky. We will do our best to win this game.”
The fact that Hibs are seeking to retain the silverware they historically won after a 114-year wait last term has added intensity to the tie as well.
“Before I came here they told me what this club had been through before they won the cup so it means a lot to everyone around the club, the players, the staff, everyone that supports Hibs.
“I know it is a big thing, it was massive what they did last year, and I hope we can start a legacy that we can keep going and fight in the league and every cup and try to achieve as much as we can.”