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Shaun Maloney: Highs and lows of the forward's career

The 34-year-old has brought his playing career to an end to join Celtic's coaching staff.

Talisman: Maloney scored home and away to Ireland on international duty.
Talisman: Maloney scored home and away to Ireland on international duty. SNS

Shaun Maloney has brought his playing career to end to take up a development coaching role with Celtic.

The 34-year-old enjoyed two successful spells in Glasgow as a player in a career that also took the 47-time capped Scotland international to three clubs in England and one in the US.

Here we look back at the highs and lows of Maloney's time in the Hoops, Scottish navy blue and elsewhere.

2001: Celtic debut

Debut: Shaun Maloney makes his Celtic debut against Rangers in 2001.
Debut: Shaun Maloney makes his Celtic debut against Rangers in 2001. SNS

Having joined the club as a trainee in 1999, Maloney soon forced his way into the first-team picture and made his debut against Old Firm rivals Rangers.

The diminutive forward impressed in a second-half cameo as Celtic ran out 3-0 winners at Ibrox in April 2001.

He would go on to make fleeting appearances as Henrik Larsson's Parkhead understudy, showing a clever touch, awareness and quality from set-pieces.

2003: UEFA Cup roller coaster

Euro goal: Maloney celebrates after scoring in Celtic's 3-1 UEFA Cup win over Stuttgart.
Euro goal: Maloney celebrates after scoring in Celtic's 3-1 UEFA Cup win over Stuttgart. SNS

Maloney played an important role in Celtic's run to the UEFA Cup final in 2003, making several appearances and scoring in the fourth round 3-1 win over Stuttgart at Parkhead.

With talismanic striker Henrik Larsson ruled out with a broken jaw, Maloney took centre stage to inspire the Hoops to a crucial victory over the German side.

The playmaker capitalised on a hacked clearance by Fernando Meira and steered the ball past the advancing keeper as Celtic took a lead that proved too much for the Germans to overturn.

Agony: Maloney reflects on Celtic's 3-2 defeat to Porto in the UEFA Cup final.
Agony: Maloney reflects on Celtic's 3-2 defeat to Porto in the UEFA Cup final. SNS

Maloney appeared late on in extra-time as Martin O'Neill looked to bring Celtic level having fallen 3-2 behind to Porto.

The forward had a chance to do just that when he stood over a free-kick but was unable to convert, leaving Jose Mourinho to lift his first European trophy.

2004: Injury strikes

Pain: Maloney is stretchered off after suffering a cruciate ligament injury playing for Celtic's under-21s.
Pain: Maloney is stretchered off after suffering a cruciate ligament injury playing for Celtic's under-21s. SNS

Henrik Larsson's departure hinted at increased first-team opportunities for the Scottish forward, who had until that point been behind the Swede, Chris Sutton and John Hartson in the pecking order.

A disastrous cruciate ligament injury in a run-out for the club's under 21s put paid to those hopes, ruling Maloney out for the best part of a year.

Upon his return he struggled to fight his way into Martin O'Neill's plans and missed out on a place in the squad for the 2005 Scottish Cup final.

2006: Star man

Awards: Maloney is voted Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year.
Awards: Maloney is voted Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year. SNS

O'Neill's departure and the arrival of Gordon Strachan offered the attacker a fresh chance to impress and he grasped the opportunity with both hands.

He quickly established himself as a first-team regular under the new regime, becoming the focal point of Strachan's attack from a position on the left-hand side.

Maloney was the standout performer as Celtic won the SPL and League Cup, and went on to sweep up both the Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year awards.

2007: Maloney bids farewell

Villains: Maloney stars for Aston Villa away to Fulham having left Celtic.
Villains: Maloney stars for Aston Villa away to Fulham having left Celtic. SNS

Injuries and a loss of form resulted in the double player of the year losing his starting spot the following season as Irish winger Aiden McGeady made his breakthrough.

Speculation soon mounted regarding Maloney's departure and, on January 31, 2007, he was reunited with Martin O'Neill at Aston Villa in a £1m deal.

2008: Back in the Hoops

Return: Shaun Maloney struggled to settle in England.
Return: Shaun Maloney struggled to settle in England. SNS

Maloney struggled to settle in England and was soon linked with a return home to Celtic.

In summer 2008 the move was pushed through and the wideman returned for a second spell in the Hoops in a reported £2.5m deal.

The early signs were promising after two assists against Falkirk on his second 'debut' and a man of the match award.

Injury would soon disrupt Maloney's campaign and he spent much of the season sidelined as Celtic's quest for a fourth title in a row failed.

Achilles tendon and ankle knocks would go on to plague the Scots' second stint at Parkhead.

Despite performing well when he took to the park the Scot decided a fresh start was needed.

He once again moved to England in 2011, this time to Wigan Athletic.

2013: FA Cup Glory

Latics: Shaun Maloney holds off Dundee United's Andy Robertson in a pre-season friendly for Wigan.
Latics: Shaun Maloney holds off Dundee United's Andy Robertson in a pre-season friendly for Wigan. SNS

Maloney starred as Wigan upset the odds to beat Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup final at Wembley.

The Scot played a key role as Roberto Martinez's side produced a terrific attacking display and delivered the corner that Ben Watson headed home to lead the Latics to glory.

2014: Scotland's talisman

Goal hero: Maloney equalises for Scotland in a 1-1 draw in Dublin.
Goal hero: Maloney equalises for Scotland in a 1-1 draw in Dublin. SNS

Maloney starred as Scotland battled to reach Euro 2016, scoring important goals in both games against former boss Martin O'Neill's Ireland.

His goal at Parkhead after working a short corner to curl a delightful effort past Darren Randolph was a high-point of the Scottish campaign.

He also scored the equaliser in Dublin but it wasn't enough as the Scots suffered the disappointment of missing out on a play-off spot.

2015: Stars and Stripes 

Maloney left Wigan in 2015 to join American side Chicago Fire but after only eight months stateside he would return to England to join Hull City on a two-year deal.

2017: Third time lucky?

Watching brief: Maloney before taking up a coaching role at Celtic.
Watching brief: Maloney before taking up a coaching role at Celtic. SNS

The Scot was heavily linked with a move to Derek McInnes' Aberdeen this summer but has now opted to hang up his boots and join Celtic's coaching staff in a development role with the Under 20s.

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