“There isn’t a glass ceiling for Celtic when it comes to Europe,” Neil Lennon

“There isn’t a glass ceiling for Celtic when it comes to Europe” – Neil Lennon…

An important week is taking shape for Celtic with Scottish Premiership business to take care of this afternoon before we head to Rotterdam on Tuesday to kick-off our 2023/24 UEFA Champions League campaign against Feyenoord. It will be another chance for Brendan Rodgers and his team to build on that 1-0 win over theRangers at Ibrox on 3 September.

It has been a mixed start to the new season after some poor results before the Glasgow Derby, but now that we have taken the first scalp of the season the team will really be looking to gain some momentum after that international break and motor away from domestic competition, whilst making some progress in Europe.

3: Neil Lennon, coach of Celtic, is lifted by Scott Brown and Victor Wanyama after victory in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match between Celtic and Hearts at Celtic Park on May 13, 2012 (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Arne Slot’s men will be first up for the Bhoys in a group that is difficult but also one that is probably as straightforward as it gets at this level. The Hoops fanbase are desperate to see their team win again on the grandest stage of them all having been somewhat starved of those kinda of glorious nights for quite some time now.

Many argue that with the finances on offer to Scottish clubs compared to other nations means it is highly unlikely the Bhoys can compete at Champions League level. However, former Celtic boss, Neil Lennon, has revealed that there is no glass ceiling for the Premiership Champions and reckons Celtic don’t have the luxury of taking their foot off of the gas domestically to aid our assault on European football.

07.11.2012 Glasgow, Scotland. Tony Watt and Victor Wanyama in action during the Champions League game between Celtic and Barcelona from Celtic Park.

Speaking to Scottish Sun, he said: “There isn’t a glass ceiling for Celtic when it comes to Europe. I remember saying the same thing in my time as manager when we lost to Juventus in the knockout round. The club will burst past that at some point and I admit I had some disappointments when I was in charge. We really should have gone through against FC Copenhagen in 2020, for example.

“Part of the problem is Celtic are always going flat out in the Premiership and the domestic cups. Teams like Sevilla know they won’t win La Liga, so they rest key players in the league and prioritise the Euro competitions. That’s why they’ve been able to win the UEFA Cup and Europa League seven times. Real Madrid have been European champions a record 14 times, but they’ve only won the Spanish title four times in the last 15 years because it’s not as important to them. A lot of clubs will sacrifice their league positions for European runs, but Celtic can’t afford to do that.”

07.11.2012 Glasgow, Scotland. Victor Wanyama in action during the Champions League game between Celtic and Barcelona from Celtic Park.

It’s probably a fair assessment from Lennon and coincides with his own time in charge of the club. We reached the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League against Juventus after making it out of a tough group with Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow. We managed to beat Barcelona at Celtic Park along the way and beat Spartak home and away. At that time the new Ibrox club had to start making their way into the game after the Oldco Rangers had been liquidated – meaning Celtic could relax domestically at times.

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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