Massimo Donati told uefa.com it was a "dream come true" to score his first UEFA Champions League goal, Celtic FC's dramatic late winner against FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Group D game looked certain to end in a draw after Brandão and Jiri Jarošík had exchanged first-half goals only for Donati - a first-half substitute for the injured Lee Naylor - to pop up with a dramatic last-gasp strike to enhance Celtic's prospects of reaching the knockout stages. "I am very happy because we won and also because it was my first goal in the Champions League," Donati told uefa.com. "It's a dream come true for me to score the winning goal in the final seconds. The fans are all crazy now and I'm very happy. It was a fantastic finish to the game for me and my team."
The 26-year-old Italian joined Celtic from group rivals AC Milan for €4m during the summer but has found himself on the fringes off the first team in recent weeks, largely due to the impressive form of Paul Hartley. Ironically, the Scottish international found himself shuffled to left-back to accommodate the Italian when he came on, but Donati is fully aware he has to make the most of the opportunities that come his way if he is to force his way back into Gordon Strachan's first-team plans.
"I want to play every game but I know whenever I get a chance, be it ten, 30 or 60 minutes, it's important to play well," he said. "If I had only played five minutes and scored the winning goal, I would still have been happy. This is a fantastic club, with fantastic players and staff and I just have to be patient and take my chances when they come along."
The triumph extends Celtic's formidable home record with just one defeat in 16 UEFA Champions League fixtures at Celtic Park. A point against the Rossoneri next Tuesday would send Celtic through to the last 16 for a second consecutive season, although Donati believes it would be a mistake to play for a share of the spoils at San Siro.
"We need one point but if we go to Milan looking for a draw it's no good because if you play for a draw you usually lose," said Donati. "We will have to play our normal game and try to win. At home we win every game and away we lose every time, so I hope we can change that in the next game. We have already beaten Milan here at Celtic Park and it would be very special for me if we could beat them again in Milan."
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