Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths ‘close to crying’ after Paradise regained with goal

Leigh Griffiths has opened up on the moment he saw the ball hit the net for the first time at Celtic Park in 10 months.

The striker, who missed much of last season as he tackled mental health issues, had to hold his emotions in check after he scored a trademark free-kick to give his side a 3-0 half-time lead against Nomme Kalju.

Celtic looked fit and sharp as they tore the Estonians apart in a 5-0 win, with Ajer, Chrisite with a double and McGregor also on the scoresheet.

And it was a case of Paradise regained for Griffiths when he scored his first goal at Parkhead since his September winner last year against Rosenborg.

The dead-ball expert says the his postage stamp strike from 25 yards was ‘up there with his goals against England’ and his celebrations were just as memorable.

The striker, who thanked his teammates for their support during those turbulent months, was relieved and delighted to finally add to his tally.

He said: “Hopefully that’s the start of more goals.

“My kids were watching me and I had friends in the stands too.

“I was close to crying, but I just had to refocus and see the half out.”

Looking relieved after the match, Griffiths told STV Sport: “A big thank you to my team-mates, backroom staff and everyone connected with the club.

If it wasn’t for them then I wouldn’t be back on the pitch.”

Neil Lennon, who praised Griffiths after the match, saying he was a “natural born goalscorer“, was delighted to see Griffiths get back among the goals.

If Griffiths can keep it up, it really will be like having a new signing.

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