‘Celtic are the hardest opponent we could have got,’ Sarajevo star Dusan Hodzi

THE friendlies in Austria and Switzerland will stand Celtic in good stead for the real thing that begins on Tuesday evening in the historic city of Sarajevo. There Celtic will face the club that almost knocked Manchester Utd out of the European Cup in the autumn of 1967 – the locals still reckon that they were cheated.

Celtic were the holders and Manchester Utd went on to become the second club from the British Isles to win the European Cup.

Things have changed for Sarajevo – a city that still lives with the consequences of the brutal civil war in the 1990s. The locals have a great deal of respect for Celtic, our reputation as one of the top clubs in Europe goes before us and the Green Brigade’s admirable campaign in support of the Palestinian people is highly regarded in the Bosnian capital. The welcome for the visiting Celtic Supporters will be warm and sincere.

“Our preparations for the Champions League qualifier have been good. We had an excellent camp in Slovenia and now we are back in Sarajevo,” the Sarajevo star Dusan Hodzi said to the media as reported by Scottish Sun.

“We are still slightly rusty, which is understandable at this time of year, but we will be ready for Celtic.

“I think we have a better squad than last season. We have added some players and have some real quality in the squad.

“We have analysed Celtic a lot since we returned to training. They don’t have a lot of weak points, but they have a few and we are aiming to take advantage of them.

“Celtic are the hardest opponent we could have got in the draw, but that also means it’s a great challenge for the players.

“I think it will be a tough, physical battle and we are confident we can get the right result.

“I’d love it if we can get a full stadium for this encounter. I promise the fans we will do everything to get a good result against the Scots.”

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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