We have heard many players over the years that have left this great club that realise down the line that the grass isn’t always greener. A lot of them don’t realise what they had at Celtic until it’s gone. That seems to be the case for Italian midfielder Massimo Donati, who spoke to The Celtic Way about why he left the club.
“I had a wee problem with Gordon and then it became a big problem”, said Donati. “I gave an interview explaining the difference between Scottish and Italian football. I explained the difference which was a big one.
In the papers, the headline was ‘what Scottish football has to do to be better’. I never said those words and he was so angry about that interview and I told him I didn’t say that but he didn’t believe me and that is why I did not play much in the second season.
For a football player, if you are not playing you are not happy. I told him that maybe it was time for me to go. In the pre-season, Gordon Strachan left Celtic and Tony Mowbray came in. For a while, it looked as if my Celtic career would get back on track.
But then Bari came in for me and offered me a longer contract. I had a decision to make and I joined Bari. Sometimes you make the wrong decision. Leaving Celtic was not a good decision.”
I liked Donati, and he will always be remembered fondly for his last minute winner against Shakhtar Donetsk, the celebrations from that goal will something I will always cherish. But the truth is, he wasn’t a great player and wasn’t really suited to Scottish football.