But Henrik Larsson will be more than content to cheer on the current crop of Hoops stars from afar.
In the #19 Legends match to raise funds for the foundation created by former team-mate, Stiliyan Petrov, the Trussell Trust and Celtic Charity, the iconic No.7 was the only outfield player to play the entire 90 minutes.
His leap may not be so high, his burst not so dynamic, but his punch is still there, as John Terry, Carlos Cuellar and the other defenders trying to keep him in check on Sunday will confirm.
Also still there for all to see is Larsson's enthusiasm for the Parkhead club, and the job being done by his old mucker, Neil Lennon.
Having watched them qualify for the Champions League last season in a play-off against another of the Swede's former clubs, Helsingborgs, he accepts the Hoops have been shorn of a clutch of their key players with the sale of Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Kelvin Wilson.
And honest Henke does not try to detract from the task facing those still here.
"Last season's success will help them, but they have lost a few players who were important to them," he said.
"It's time for the other guys to step in and try to have the same level as the ones who have left.
"Is it more difficult this season? Last season's group was difficult, and so is this one.
"Being realistic, you can see that is a very tough group for Celtic. But nothing is impossible.
"The teams coming to Celtic Park are not going to enjoy it that much.
"It depends what they can get out of the games here and, hopefully, do something away from home. Then, you just never know."
As was proved last year when Celtic almost grabbed a point in Barcelona, then did get their revenge - and world headlines - by defeating Lionel Messi and Co. at Celtic Park.
Added to the first group stage away win, in Moscow, and taking another three points at home when Spartak arrived in Glasgow for the final game,it was enough to take Lennon's side to a last 16 meeting with Juventus.
Having been forced to negotiate an extra qualifying round this time, the Hoops might have thought Lady Luck would deal them a better hand.
But it was not to be and Larsson said: "There was a wee smile when I saw Barcelona come out of the draw again in Celtic's group, as they are two clubs who have been special to me in my career."
He remains upbeat, though, and commends Lennon for the job he has done to rebuild from the ashes of the side left to him by Tony Mowbray back in 2010.
Qualifying for the group stage again ensures the cash flow so essential to this development will continue and Larsson said: "The club is doing fantastically well.
"It was fantastic to watch them do so well last season. Now they are in the group stages again."
Ironically, despite many more millions having been spent on it, and having the experienced Martin O'Neill at the helm, Larsson's Celtic side could not get beyond the group stage.
Nevertheless, they had plenty of success to reminisce about when they met up for Petrov's match.
And Larsson said: "It's always fun to see the guys. We are close and stay in touch with each other.
"We follow each other in what we do in football. We had a very special group and, even though we are getting a little bit older, you could see that."
Larsson only wishes the reunion could have been under happier circumstances.
"Things like this brings you even closer together," he said, referring to the Bulgarian's illness.
"When something bad happens to anybody close to you and you shared so much with, it makes you tighter.
"It makes you realise you are not immortal.
"Stan was fitter than most people, so you see it can happen to anyone.
"It is fantastic to see that Stiliyan is getting better and better, and that is the most important thing."