Dedryck Boyata has criticised former boss Brendan Rodgers and Chris Sutton as he opened up on his Celtic exit.

The Belgian star was accused of going on strike and refusing to play for the Hoops in order to force a move out of Parkhead back in 2018. Boyata was blamed for allegedly refusing to play as he tried to jump ship amid interest from English Premier League side Fulham.

The defender eventually did leave Parkhead on a free to join German club Hertha Berlin. But he still takes exception to the criticism that he feels is unfounded.

Boyata was furious when returning from the World Cup and hearing that he had apparently told manager Rodgers that he did not want to help the club upon his return. And he was also disappointed to see pundit and ex-Hoops attacker Sutton demand he be dropped from the squad without knowing all the facts.

He said, on Kickback with Nedum: "I cannot speak for them, but I really did not think they expected me to go to the World Cup, or for me to play. So I go to the World Cup, and I have one year left. So we ended up having a good World Cup, finished 3rd. Come back to Celtic. I had very good relations with Brendan Rodgers.

“I got mixed up in a situation I’ve never been in. [I had] all these teams coming from left to right. That was the year the transfer window was closing earlier than usual. So what happened is, I speak with the guys, I speak with the doctors, the coach, about the situation. Yes, I requested a transfer. I said 'I have these teams behind me, I don’t know what’s going to happen for me in the future. I need to know what’s going on now.'

“For myself it was a little bit difficult. I have never been in a situation where I am the villain. Brendan Rodgers had an interview where he said 'it’s difficult to win games when we have fit players at home, who don’t want to help the team'. From this interview, Chris Sutton was so hurtful. Honestly, he was so hurtful that I wrote down everything he said. He said something like 'you need to kick him out of the team.'

“At that moment, I just felt… I spoke to every single player about my situation. The captain, the goalkeeper. These guys were affected by the situation. They wanted to go to the Champions League. They said 'we need to find the best situation for Dedryck'.

“From that moment, I was finished. I came back the day after and went to speak to [Rodgers]. 'How can you do this to me? How can you put me in the situation? You know everything that was going on, you were aware of everything'. He protected himself, he protected the team, and I was the bad guy.

“From [then] on, it [was] finished.”