Ryan Christie: From the Celtic fringes to a Scotland fairytale in under a month

Ryan Christie graphic
McDonald played for Celtic between 2007 and 2010

Seven games, six assists, three goals, two caps and a new contract - a snapshot of Ryan Christie's potentially career-defining month.

The 23-year-old had been on the periphery at Celtic Park and faced an uncertain future but he has transformed himself not just at club level but also on the international stage.

Christie spent 18 months on loan at Aberdeen before returning to Glasgow in the summer to garner only two starts, no goals and a handful of fleeting appearances from the bench before his meteoric rise.

From semi-final strikes, European euphoria through to Hampden heroics, BBC Scotland charts the latest chapter in Christie's career.

28 October - A star is reborn

League Cup semi-final: Hearts 0-3 Celtic

An afternoon at Murrayfield in front of more than 60,000 fans sparked the former Inverness Caledonian Thistle player's run as he played a huge role in Celtic booking a place in next Sunday's League Cup final against Aberdeen.

With the semi-final against Hearts poised at 0-0 at the break, Christie came on to have a hand in all three of his side's goals.

He was fouled in the box for the first, fired a shot at goal that James Forrest tapped in the rebound from for the second, before rounding things off with a beautifully placed effort into the top corner to make it three.

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Ryan Christie has 'big-game personality', says Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers

31 October - No Halloween scares for Celtic

Scottish Premiership: Dundee 0-5 Celtic

Next up, a trip to Dens Park as Celtic rampaged to a 5-0 win.

Christie played the full game and just three minutes into the second half ran on to Odsonne Edouard's through ball to score and help deliver Brendan Rodgers' 100th competitive victory in charge.

Ryan Christie
Christie scores for Celtic against Dundee

3 November - Heart breaker, again

Scottish Premiership: Celtic 5-0 Hearts

After dumping Hearts out of the League Cup, Celtic were after their spot at the top of the Premiership.

For the second time in six days Rodgers' side outclassed their Edinburgh opponents with Christie once again claiming the last goal, this time from the penalty spot. It was Celtic's seventh straight domestic win.

Ryan Christie comparison graphic
Stats for club and country

8 November - Euro high

Europa League: Celtic 2-1 RB Leipzig

Christie was given the nod to face RB Leipzig at Celtic Park.

He set up Edouard's winner to boost the Scottish champions' Europa League ambitions.

12 November - 'It's been a bit of a whirlwind'

Christie then signed a new three-year Celtic contract with his initial four-year deal having been due to expire in the summer.

He said it "tops off an amazing wee period".

Ryan Christie
Christie is now contracted until 2021

17 November - National impact

Nations League: Albania 0-4 Scotland

Having earned his first caps in friendlies against the Netherlands, Hungary and Mexico, Christie was again called upon by Scotland boss Alex McLeish for his Nations League squad.

In the first match away in Albania, Christie played the full 90 minutes and set up goals for Ryan Fraser and James Forrest.

20 November - Hampden highlight

Nations League: Scotland 3-2 Israel

Sitting top of Group C1 level on points with Israel, the Scots needed a victory over their rivals at Hampden to book Nations League promotion and, more importantly, a play-off spot.

Scotland delivered, and so did Christie, who fed the ball into Celtic team-mate Forrest for his second of three goals to claim a 3-2 victory.

Ryan Christie and Alex McLeish
Christie and McLeish celebrate Scotland's win over Israel

'He's going all the way to the top' - analysis

Former Aberdeen and Scotland defender Willie Miller on BBC Radio Scotland

In the Albania game, he was, for me, the outstanding performer; pressing the opposition, supporting [Steven] Fletcher, working back to help his defence and was involved in all four goals and his range of passing was exceptional. He has energy, pace and vision.

Former Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Hughes on BBC Radio Scotland

He had to bide his time. When I went up to Inverness I saw him train once and that was it, in with the first team. These kids have just got something about them, something that you can just tell he's going to go all the way to the top.

'I have to keep pushing on'

Christie said: "It has been pretty crazy. I've been very lucky to come into in-form teams. It's been easy for me to come into these teams and mould in when everyone around me is playing so well.

"It's funny how things can turn around in football, but obviously I keep my head down and hope that is going to come and lucky enough it has come. For me now, I have to keep pushing on."

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