Celtic star primed for another top display against Barcelona

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It has been a meteoric rise for the young Fraser Forster.

The Englishman spent six years at Newcastle United, but never made a first team appearance. He was loaned out to a succession of clubs that included Stockport County and Bristol Rovers.

And he impressed for all the clubs he was loaned out to; at Norwich City he played 38 league games over the course of the season and kept 18 clean sheets.

Those performances meant he won both the Norwich's Player's Player of the Year and Supporter's Player of the Year in 2010. And To cap off a phenomenal season with the Canaries, he also won the Macron Golden Gloves award for keeping the most clean sheets in the Championship.

Despite Forster's hugely impressive time with Norwich, he was again loaned out the following season, this time to Celtic. But on this occasion his loan move was made permanent by manager Neil Lennon after two hugely successful seasons with The Celts.

Looking back on his time at Newcastle, he was perhaps unlucky in that Tim Krul had cemented his position as first choice keeper for the Magpies - he may otherwise have finally gotten his chance with the north-east club.

But Celtic manager Neil Lennon must be relieved that Forster chose to stay with Celtic on a full-time basis. Ever since, the talented shot-stopper has proven to be a very reliable figure in the Hoops' goal.

His performance in last season's legendary 2-1 win against Barcelona was particularly lauded. The Huffington Post reported that the Englishman was described in the Spanish press as 'the great wall' after his string of phenomenal saves to stop the Catalan Giants from overrunning the Scottish Champions.

Forster has so far featured in four England squads but is yet to make an appearance for the Three Lions. If he continues to play football at the current standard, offers may come in from larger clubs in the Premier League and perhaps further afield.

However, Forster is invaluable to Celtic, as Lennon made clear when he said, "with Fraser Forster, I have one of the best (goalkeepers) in the competition (Champions League)."

Celtic again face Barcelona in tonight's Champions League clash at Celtic Park. And Forster will undoubtedly be relishing the opportunity to again go up against players of the calibre of Neymar, Xavi and Iniesta.

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