CELTIC’S clashes with rivals Rangers don’t produce as much hype as in the past due to the Hoops’ domestic dominance, according to Mikael Lustig.
The Swedish defender has won six league titles in a row since arriving at Parkhead in 2011 and believes the lack of competitiveness at the top of the Premiership has dampened derby fever over the years.
Speaking to Swedish podcast Tutto Balutto, he explained: “I don’t think it’s the same hype, the same kind of hatred that you had back in the day.
“Rangers are nowhere near us now. I imagine the tighter it is, the more important it gets to win the derbies. We’ve won everything during my time here.”
The 30-year-old also touched on how he deals with taunts from Gers fans around Glasgow, admitting he likes to give back what he gets.
“Sometimes you get the odd ‘f**k off’ but mostly it’s tongue in cheek,” he said.
“They might want to take a picture, do a film, posing as Celtic fans then saying something Rangers.
“I might then say ‘5-1’, and then walk away laughing.”
Despite his belief that the ferocity of the rivalry is not what it once was, the Sweden international underlined that there are still certain lines that can never be crossed.
“I remember seeing AIK player Daniel Sundgren’s Instagram feed and he posted a pic of himself with Djurgarden’s Magnus Ericsson,” said Lustig.
“Sundgren wrote something like ‘my brother’ and I thought, wow, if that happened at Celtic it would be thank you and goodbye.”