A clearly excited Callum McGregor spoke exclusively to Celtic TV from the De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam yesterday afternoon as the Celtic captain looked forward to this evening’s Champions League opener against Dutch Champions Feyenoord.
Calmac is excited as any supporter in Rotterdam for the game or at work counting down the hours to get themselves in front of a television to watch the action unfold in the biggest and best club tournament of them all.
This Celtic squad probably has more Champions League experience that their Feyenoord opponents and perhaps that can an advantage this evening. And while Celtic went to Ibrox recently without the backing of any Celtic supporters, there will this evening be over 3000 Celtic fans making their presence felt and that too will give the team a boost.
Brendan Rodgers is a more experienced coach this time around and has sampled the Champions League highs and lows and tactically he will have taken those lessons on board. Tonight we might see a counter-attacking style, similar to a period of that pre-season friendly in Dublin against Wolves where the Celtic manager trialed this with the Champions League in mind.
Last season Celtic went toe-to-toe with the likes of Real Madrid and RB Leipzig but got no points from those four matches but plenty of plaudits. But it’s points, not plaudits that are counted in the group table.
Stepping back for a moment, it’s worth remembering that tonight is a game where the top seeds in the group are at home to the fourth seeds, so essentially it’s the hardest away game for Celtic and the easiest home match for the Dutch side. So defeat this evening will not define the group for Celtic as the main challenge will be to win our home games.
On the other had getting something this evening dents Feyenoord’s chances and gives Celtic a major boost with a brilliant start. The Dutch side are decent but they are not among Europe’s current elite. Celtic have a chance in the De Kuip, let’s hope that they take it.
Here’s Callum McGregor speaking to Celtic TV…
💬 “We know it’s going to be a difficult game, but we feel like we’re more than equipped to come and get something from it.”@CelticTV Exclusive Interview: Callum McGregor looks forward to #UCL clash in Rotterdam 📽#FeyenoordCeltic | #COYBIG🍀 pic.twitter.com/7It3bcUKEx
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) September 19, 2023