CELTIC penalty hero Kristoffer Ajer says that he had no choice but to launch his winning spot-kick up the middle of the goal as his legs were completely cramped up.

The defender was tasked with hitting Celtic’s fifth spot-kick after a titanic tussle against Hearts in the pouring rain at Hampden.

Despite being physically spent, the Norwegian managed one last effort to shell the ball home and clinch an historic quadruple Treble, and he has now set his sights on overhauling Rangers to win a tenth successive title.

“Of course the league is the priority now,” Ajer said. “We have to recover from this – I had cramps walking up to take my penalty!

“I had to launch it through the middle. I wanted to take the fifth penalty. I love the pressure.

“When Hazzy (Conor Hazard) saved the fifth won it was on a plate for me.

“We knew Hearts would make it hard, they are a great team with a lot of experience. We have a young squad and it’s not the best pitch in Scotland. They made it difficult at set pieces and I was just happy we won the game.”

Ajer believes that Celtic answered some of their critics by digging deep to win the final, and he believes that the team spirit within their dressing room was key to them overcoming a dogged Hearts outfit.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “We’ve had some tough weeks and we’ve bounced back. Today we had to fight through so much.

“You can see the togetherness in the group. We are a bunch of friends who work hard for each other. I don’t think people will understand what it means to win a quadruple treble for many years.

“It’s never been done before and I think it’s something we have to appreciate.”