Argentinian striker Fernando Pasquinelli trained alongside legends like Claudio Caniggia and Roman Riquelme.
However, the “greatest joy” of the former Boca Juniors player’s career was a sensational opening six minutes at Parkhead in 2014.
Pasquinelli scored and set up a goal for Darren Mackie as Aberdeen raced to a 2-0 lead in a game they would win 3-2.
Sixteen years on, neither time nor distance have diminished memories of that win for Pasquinelli, who is now based in Italy and on lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis.
The 40-year-old said: “To score against Celtic and also beat them was one of the greatest joys of my career.
“Although Celtic went into that game on an unbeaten run we were a very strong side.
“Playing Celtic away was something we looked forward to and our manager Jimmy Calderwood prepared us well.
“We scored two goals very quickly by putting Celtic’s defenders under pressure.
“It was a very intense game as Celtic kept attacking us after we got the two-goal advantage.
“We ended up beating a great Celtic team with a great manager (Martin O’Neill).”
Boss Calderwood moved quickly to beat Spanish teams to the signature of Pasquinelli on a season-long deal in August 2004
The striker had spent the previous season with Livingston in a tumultuous campaign. Livi went into administration and also won the League Cup.
Pasquinelli said: “I had been in Spain and was in discussions with Rayo Vallecano and Cordoba.
“I knew about Aberdeen from facing them the previous season with Livingston and knew they were one of the largest clubs in Scotland. I did not hesitate when their proposal came in.”
Pasquinelli set up the early opener at Parkhead on Wednesday October 27 2004 when flicking a corner towards Mackie, who bundled over the line from close range.
Moments later Neil Lennon passed back to David Marshall but the keeper’s clearance hit the on-rushing Pasquinelli who capitalised to put the Reds 2-0 up and the Red Army in dream land. Celtic hit back through a John Hartson brace but John Stewart scored an injury-time winner.
Pasquinelli would go on to score a memorable double against Kilmarnock in a 3-1 win but would suffer a season-ending injury in December.
He was eventually released by the Reds in March and had to undergo surgery on pubalgia, a chronic groin lesion.
He said: “That game (against Kilmarnock) is on YouTube and sometimes I watch it. Even now I get excited by it.
“At 40 I take pride in playing for a great club like Aberdeen and my gratitude to the fans is eternal. I always felt the love of the fans and the support of the leadership.
“I have wonderful memories of the people who worked at the club and the city is beautiful.
“I ended up having surgery in May for pubalgia in Argentina.
“It took two months to recover and after that I played in Talleres de Cordoba.”
Pasquinelli came through the youth ranks at Argentine giants Boca Juniors, 34-time league champions and six-time Copa Libertadores winners.
He was at the club and in the first-team squad when Boca won the Intercontinental Cup in 2000 with a 2-1 defeat of Real Madrid in Tokyo to be crowned the world’s top club team.
He said: “It was a privilege to train as a player in Boca Juniors.
“I arrived at 15 years old after being selected and having passed a test that had 2,000 boys.
“When I was with the first team there was Claudio Caniggia, Roman Riquelme and Martin Palermo.”
Following a successful career in his home country Pasquinelli retired from playing in 2013.
He took technical coaching courses and was working with youths at an Argentinian second-tier side.
Earlier this year Pasquinelli and his family moved to Italy as he looked to step up his career as a coach.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic, which has hit Italy hard, has stopped that for now.