Emilio Izaguirre: Why I had to leave Celtic

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Former Celtic left back Emilio Izaguirre has revealed why he felt he had to leave Celtic after seven years last summer.

The Honduran left back, who won six league titles, three Scottish cups and two League Cups during his time at Parkhead, made fewer than 20 appearances in all competitions for Brendan Rodgers’ side during the 2016/17 season.

Emilio Izaguirre in action for Celtic against FC Salzburg in September 2014. Picture: Getty Images

Emilio Izaguirre in action for Celtic against FC Salzburg in September 2014. Picture: Getty Images

Izaguirre had to contend with the meteoric rise of young full back Kieran Tierney, who has since made the left back berth his own, but he insists competition for his position wasn’t a driving factor in his exit.

In an interview with Diario Deportivo Diez in his homeland, former Motagua player Izaguirre, now with Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Fayha, explained why he left Celtic.

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“It’s very difficult to talk about,” the 31-year-old said. “There will be a day when I can talk about my departure [from Celtic]. I don’t want to [at the moment] but it was due to personal problems that I had with agents in England.”

Izaguirre, capped 98 times for his country, had offers from English Championship sides, but chose to move to the Saudi Professional League.

“That’s why I left. It was hard for me to leave - Brendan Rodgers got angry with me because he counted on me, and I felt guilty leaving. It was hard with my wife and children because of personal things that happened to us.”

But Izaguirre seemed to suggest that he hasn’t given up hope of returning to the east end of Glasgow, even if a Celtic comeback looks unlikely.

“I left the door open, and you never know what could happen tomorrow,” the Honduran international added.

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