CELTIC defender Emilio Izaguirre paid an emotional tribute to murdered former Rangers midfielder Arnold Peralta ahead of today's clash with St Johnstone.

The Honduran, who was a close friend and team-mate of Peralta in the national side, wore a T Shirt with a message in memory of his fellow countryman and a black armband with the No12, Peralta's number for his country.

Izaguirre kneeled in prayer during a minute's applause ahead of the Parkhead side's game against St Johnstone, which they went on to win 3-0.

Peralta was gunned down in his homeland on Thursday, and news of the 26-year-old's death has left Izaguirre, who classed Peralta as his 'brother', shattered.

Speaking to Honduran website Diez, Izaguirre said: “I have lost a friend, a brother and a loved one.

“I was in Turkey with Celtic when I found out what happened. It was 3am and my phone kept vibrating.

"I knew that something had happened because that is not normal.

“I spoke to my mother and I was in tears when she told me the news. When I saw the pictures I could not believe it.”

He added: “Arnold was with me when my daughter was born. He would see my children every day.

"My son Milito was very close to him. Milito is seven and it was hard to tell him what had happened to Arnold.

“He saw that his mother Virginia was crying and he asked her why, so she had to tell him.

“When I returned to the house from Turkey, he had tears in his eyes.

“I hugged him and he pulled me closer and suddenly asked: ‘Why? Why in Honduras are there bad people?’

“It is sad to see such pain in children of that age.

“Arnold was a cheerful, nice person. We spent Christmas together when he was in Scotland. We also had happy memories from the national team.

“I have no words to describe what has happened. I feel I have lost a member of my family.”