Celtic’s European Ambitions: Preparing for the Champions League

Celtic’s European Ambitions: Preparing for the Champions League


Founded in 1887, Celtic Football Club has enjoyed almost a century and a half of eventful history. With more than 100 trophies to its name (118 and counting), Celtic FC finds itself as one of the five clubs on the planet to record over a century of trophies, namely, Club Nacional de Football, Atletico Penarol, Al Ahly, Celtic FC and the now liquidated Rangers FC.

The Parkhead based club has enjoyed and endured successful and gloomy spells intertwined to form its lasting legacy. At home and on the continent, Celtic FC, in their rights, have made themselves a name to reckon with in European football. Here we will explore Celtic FC’s rich legacy, rivalries, and how they’re preparing for competitions on the continental stage.

Historical Context: Celtic’s Legacy in European Competitions

Billy McNeill holding the European Cup that Celtic won in 1967 football Lisbon Lions

In the European top flight, the Bhoys may not be among the biggest names like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, AC Milan, or other multiple trophy-winning sides, but they too have a reputation to be proud of. In 1967, Celtic FC became Britain’s first club to clinch the European Cup title, now known as the UEFA Champions League. It’s worth noting that 1967 was a year of miracles for Celtic FC, as they became champions in all five competitions. The club became the first European club to win a treble, which would inspire other clubs on the European continent to aspire for a similar feat.

In the aftermath, the club may not have clinched another European Cup trophy, but their presence has always been felt whenever they step on the continental stage. In 1970, the club finished as runners-up as they lost 2-1 to Dutch side Feyenoord in Milan.

In the years that followed, the Glasgow giants has pulled off remarkable feats on the continent by upsetting the ‘big boys’ in the UEFA Champions League. European clubs that have tasted the bitter side of playing against Celtic FC include Juventus, Manchester United, Ajax, and even AC Milan, with many people who bet on sports making huge winnings from such upsets, especially with tips from BetZillion company. Arguably, the most remarkable of such upsets came in the 2012-2013 season, when FC Barcelona was at the peak of its performance. That season, Celtic FC completed a double by beating the Spanish giants to qualify out of the group stage.

Strengthening the Squad: Key Transfers and Tactical Adjustments

With some notable departures imminent at the club, this transfer window promises to be quite an eventful one for Celtic. One area where the club would need extra hands is the goalkeeperposition. With the club’s first-choice goalie Joe Hart retiring, the club is considering the likes of Southampton’s Alex McCarty, Liverpool’s Caoimhin Kelleher, and Patrick Pentz for a suitable replacement. That is not the only position; they hope to make improvements as they eye additions in the defence, midfield, and attack with Adam Idah likely to return from Norwich City after a successful loan spell at Celtic.

With Brendan Rogers at the helm of affairs, not every player will fit into the gaffer’s preference for the high-pressing, width stretching, dominating, and fluid-moving style of play. Some players who fit into this system have been caught under the club’s scouting radar, and their clubs may receive official bids soon. Some of these players include Charles Pickel (midfielder), Tommy Conway (attacker), Jake Clarke-Salter (center-back), and of course Norwich City’s Adam Idah (striker), among others.

Managerial Strategies: Preparing for Elite European Opponents

18 times Scottish Champions , 12 Scottish Cup wins ,  11 League Cup wins  – Glory to our name! …

Despite being the most successful European club in a domestic league with 41 trophies won since 2000 (18 times  Scottish Champions , 12 Scottish Cups winners  and 11 League Cups winners) , the 21st has not favoured the Glasgow outfit that much. Many fans and pundits believe that Celtic has what it takes to compete with European elite clubs, but at the moment, it is still a wish that has refused to come true.

The club, however, doesn’t seem dissatisfied with the services of head coach Brendan Rodgers but would be delighted to see his managerial strategies replicate his domestic success against elite European opponents. On July 27, 2024, the Bhoys will play against Chelsea at the Notre Dame Stadium in the USA as they wrap up their preparation for elite European opponents in the coming 2024-2025 season.

Challenges and Opportunities in the Champions League/Europa League

Thanks to a domestic league triumph, the club was handed Champions League qualification, and with it comes certain opportunities and challenges. . It is easy to point out the need for improved quality on and off the pitch by studying the trajectory accompanying Celtic’s previous eliminations from European competitions. With contract renewals and new signings coming in, the Bhoys will be hoping to overcome this challenge. It is with the hope that the board will be more generous with spending the cash to get a better “pair of legs.”

Celtic CEO Michael Nicholson during the match between Celtic and Hearts on May 04, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

When UEFA mentioned the new Champions League format for the 2024-2025 season, it presented an opportunity for teams prone to early elimination to enjoy an extended Champions League experience. It is an opportunity Celtic will be looking forward to benefiting from. With 36 clubs competing in a league format instead of the previous 32 club format, Celtic will play 8 matches, as opposed to the previous 6, for a chance to qualify for the round of 16. Although many argue that this may congest playing schedules and increase player fatigue/injury, it gives a glimmer of hope to Celtic and her fans to enjoy a longer stay in European competitions. For people who bet on sports games and are looking for a bookie, these games will be the ones to look out for.

Fan Support and Its Impact on Celtic’s European Campaign

The club has a huge fan base. That is what you get when you amass over a century of trophies, but beyond that, fan support has been a huge influence on the club’s successes. In Europe, the supporters have always been behind their team, and in 2008, their conduct earned the praise of FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

Cities such as Rome, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Madrid are not new to Celtic fans. They have cheered their teams to iconic victories on the continent, especially when they won the greatest prize against Inter Milan in Lisbon on 25 May 1967.. Whether the team loses or wins in the Champions League or Europa League, when the call on a European night is made, you will surely find supporters  in green and white hoops making their presence felt in the stadium.


With the 2024-2025 Champions League season drawing near, plans are underway to enjoy a successful campaign. With the club hoping to replicate historic European nights and give the supporters something to cherish, some contract renewals and new signings are on the radar.

However, a challenge looms around the corner. Eight European games (if they don’t qualify from the first round), the Scottish Premiership, the Scottish Cup, and the Scottish League Cup may be too much for the squad to handle. Still, with squad depth and proper schedule management from the organisers, the fears can be abated. In a few months, it will be “Welcome, European Game Nights” for Celtic fans, and from all indications, there are more positives to expect from the campaign.

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