“He was a young whippersnapper,” Brendan Rodgers on first encounter with Callum McGregor

Did you catch Sky Sports half-hour tribute to Celtic, Champions Again last night?

It basically considered of a sit-down with Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and his captain Callum McGregor mixed in with footage of some of the key goals scored along the way as the Scottish Champions retained their title yet again. A little bit underwhelming, wonder if they’d do the same – or more for Manchester City?

That aside, both men spoke in glowing terms about each other and particularly interesting was Rodgers talking about how Calmac first came to his attention when he was Liverpool manager playing against Notts County in a League Cup tie, when McGregor was out on loan from Celtic.

Then the two would be brought together for a second time when Brendan Rodgers was appointed Celtic manager in May 2016. Asked about his thoughts on the development of Callum McGregor since that time Rodgers went back to the Notts County encounter and a you g player he clearly noticed.

 27.08.2013 Photo: imago/HochZwei/International –  League Cup, Liverpool FC – Notts County FC, Liverpool s Joe Allen in action against Notts County s Callum McGregor h at Anfield. 

“It’s been so satisfying and brilliant to see. I first game across Cal when he played for Notts County against my Liverpool team in a cup game,” the Celtic manager told Sky Sports. “He was a young whippersnapper then but coming here the first time, he had grown so much as a player.

“I found someone who has this incredible view of football and who has the very highest level of ability. In the biggest performances of the biggest games during my first time here, he was at the centre of it.

“But to see him now lead and be the figurehead of the team, I have great pride in him and the good he is doing for the team.

“I know how he looks after himself and he has a number of years to go to influence this squad and this team. To see him go from that guy in 2016 who was trying to force his way into becoming a permanent fixture to now being this legend and captain of a player, has been so nice to see.

“Before I came back last year, I got to meet Cal and we had a good long chat. He told me about the team, the squad and everything else. This is a guy who I would trust with my life and have done since our first time working together. I trust his opinion.”

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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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