‘It has topped off an incredible weekend for me’, says Hibs defender after international call-up



AS IF a historic Scottish Cup win was not enough, Niklas Gunnarsson has revealed how his dream weekend got even better after he received an international call-up just minutes before Hibernian’s victory parade.

The 25-year-old has been included in Norway’s squad to face Portugal in Porto on Sunday and could now make his full international debut after winning four under-23 caps for his country.

Gunnarsson, who was on loan at Hibs from Valerenga in his homeland, was a late substitute in Saturday’s stunning 3-2 triumph over Rangers at Hampden as he made his 15th appearance for the capital club.

Hibs Bus Tour

And, after joining in the open-top bus celebrations through Edinburgh on Sunday, it emerged the rangy defender had an extra reason to have a party.

Gunnarsson will fly back to Norway today before tomorrow meeting up with the rest of the Norway squad, including Celtic’s Stefan Johansen, ahead of Sunday’s match.

He told Capital City Press: “I am very proud to be in the squad, especially for a match against a country like Portugal.

“I received the call on Sunday morning before the victory parade, and it has topped off an incredible weekend for me.

“To see the reaction of the fans and everyone around the club has been very special.

“The call-up has justified my decision to move here in January and I’m looking forward to meeting up with the squad now.”

Norway, who were defeated by Hungary in a play-off for next month’s Euro 2016 championships, also play Iceland on June 1 and Belgium on June 5, but Gunnarsson has so far only been included in head coach Per-Mathias Hogmo’s selection for Portugal.