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Stiliyan Petrov names the Celtic moment that changed his life as he 'became a man' under Martin O'Neill

Celtic legend Stiliyan Petrov says that he "became a man" in his illustrious seven-year spell at Parkhead - and the famous run to the UEFA Cup final in 2003 will stay with him forever.

After knocking out stellar sides such as Liverpool, Celta Vigo, Stuttgart and Boavista over two legs, Martin O'Neill's Hoops squared off against Jose Mourinho's Porto in the final at the Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville. A thrilling final saw the game go all the way to extra time, with Celtic goal machine Henrik Larsson netting a brace, but Porto eventually claimed a 3-2 victory thanks to Derlei's late winner.

But in an interview with FourFourTwo magazine, former Bulgarian midfield maestro Petrov, who won three league titles among nine major honours at Celtic between 1999 and 2007, has picked the cup final loss to Porto as one of the four games that changed his life. Petrov has also named his professional debut as 15-year-old for boyhood club Montana in a 3-0 defeat to Pirin in 1998, his national team debut in a 4-1 loss to Morocco in 1998 and leading Bulgaria out as captain in their heavy 5-0 loss to Sweden at EURO 2004 as the three other games that had a big impact on his football career.

The 44-year-old reflected on Celtic's memorable run to the final as well as the build-up to that night in Seville. Petrov, who overcame a battle with acute leukemia in 2013, said: "I know it ended with a defeat, but what an adventure. The journey to that final was brilliant. At Celtic, I became a man and learned what it means to play for a team with your heart. You must give everything.

"Not many players around the world get the chance to feature in a European final, but I did. You have to cherish those moments, because all of the hard work you've put