No mixed allegiances for Diego Laxalt when Celtic face AC Milan
Diego Laxalt insists his allegiances are now at Celtic after joining the Parkhead club on a season-long loan from AC Milan.
The 27-year-old from Montevideo, who plays on the left-hand side, has been capped 24 times for Uruguay and will be the first player from his country to play for the Parkhead side.
Celtic face AC Milan in their first Europa League group stage game later in the month.
Laxalt can play in the match and speaking through an interpreter at Celtic Park, he said his focus was now on the Hoops.
“It is a coincidence that they were drawn in the same group but I am very happy to be here,” said the former Genoa player.
“It is a great opportunity.
“It doesn’t really matter who the opposition is as my head and heart is now at Celtic and I can’t wait to play and show what I can do.
“I know that Celtic are well known all over the world because of all the trophies they have won, the club has a lot of followers and it is a great atmosphere here.
“It is a history of a great club.
“I looked up to see if there was another Uruguayan player for Celtic but I couldn’t find anyone and then I was told I was the first Uruguayan player and that makes me very happy and I hope to leave a great image of my country here at this great club.
“The first thing for me is to start training and getting to know everybody here at Celtic and the other players.
“I am looking to achieve all the objectives and I will give my maximum effort while I am playing.
“I hope to have a great season this season and obviously win titles as well but that requires a lot of work.”
Celtic’s first game after the international break is against Rangers at Parkhead and Laxalt, who played in the 2018 World Cup for Uruguay, is ready for an Old Firm debut.
He said: “Yes, I learned that is the next match and I cannot wait to play any match for Celtic.
“I have heard of the history of that game, that they are rivals and I am really looking forward to playing in that game and looking forward to a good result as well.”
Laxalt also looks forward to meeting up again with midfielder Olivier Ntcham, whom he played alongside at Genoa.
He said: “I played with him for two years and I was happy to learn he is here.
“I cannot wait to see him again and play with him again. Olivier is a great player and a great person as well.”