Five golden moments from the Champions League

Date: 7th March 2013 at 8:32 am
Written by: | Comments (4)

Celtic 2 1 Barcelona

Celtic’s most memorable Champions League campaign came to a halt last night with a 2-0 defeat from Juventus in Turin.

An epic 12 match campaign came to an end after creating memories that will last a lifetime- catapulting the club back into the spotlight after a four year absence from football’s most prestigious tournament.

Inevitably some players will not be with us next season but with the blueprint established Celtic Park will be a high priority for aspirational players throughout the game.

Players at clubs in Belgium or Israel, or out of contract and forgotten will jump at an approach from Celtic knowing that they can follow in the footsteps of Gary Hooper, Victor Wanyama or Fraser Forster by being involved in the cutting edge of the European game.

As last night’s disappointing conclusion to the campaign begins to fade I’ve picked out the top ten highlights from Celtic’s Champions League return.

  1. Tony Watt’s low shot across Victor Valdes to put Celtic 2-0 up on Barcelona will take some beating in the years ahead. The tension of a never ending second half, defending Wamyama’s opener was broken when the substitute from Coatbridge buried his shot into the net as Celtic Pasrk- and the footballing world looked on at Barcelona’s first defeat of the season.
  1. Amazingly after an injury time defeat in Barcelona there was some expectation that Celtic could take a point from Barca at home- and perhaps compete for third place and a Europa League place. Midway through the first half Wanyama bulleted home a header from a corner and suddenly the dream was reality with Celtic ahead of Barcelona.
  1. After a 0-0 draw at home to Benfica most fans had prepared themselves for a tough campaign- convincing themselves that it was just good to be back in the big time. From Wanyama winning a 40-60 challenge in midfield against Spartak Moscow to Mikel Lustog’s cross to Hooper’s devastating finish Celtic demonstrated that they could play and compete in the Champions League
  1. An away win! Samaras’ flashing header in the 90th minute finally brought an end to the boring never ending stories about Celtic’s away record in the Champions League. Having gone ahead then fallen behind the victory was sweet with the introduction of James Forrest after Spartak had gone down to ten men indicating the confidence of Celtic to rewrite history.
  1. On a wave of emotion, the day after celebrating 125 years on from Celtic’s birth in St Mary’s The Green Brigade arranged a tifo display that was beamed around the world. Setting the scene for an epic win over Barcelona images of the display flooded social media sites with fans in awe ahead of a night to remember.

CLICK HERE for Mulgrew’s Champions League pain

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4 thoughts on “Five golden moments from the Champions League

  • paranoidandroid
    3 years ago

    It’s been a brilliant effort from the players, the manager, and, of course, the fans. Let’s do it all again next year.

  • williebhoy
    3 years ago

    I’d like to think we have learned many valubale lessons and can put them to good use next season which would ensure further progress.

    This would involve a bit more squad rotation, vital to ensure our top players are fully fit / sharp for major matches. I wouldn’t be asking our main core of players to play more than 35-40 games a season. We should have enough strength in depth to cope and can deal with the occasional setback at domestic level.

    While I expect at least 4, possibly as many as 8/10 players to move / be moved on. I also expect them to be replaced by better quality /sharper more technically gifted players. For some games what we lacked in guile / skills we had to make up for in effort / teamwork. Time now to build on that firm base and improve on the skill levels / awareness of those who are to be replaced.

    We were far better in recent CL games than we were against Udinese / Rennes etc. Now I look for us to take the next step again.

    Hopefully we don’t have to hop the Atlantic next time around chasing big bucks but a more tailored pre-season to ensure we hit the ground running.

    The inclusion of Tony Watt’s goal v Barcelona should also remind all that we do have highly talented youngster who must be given maximum opportunity to prove their worth. Don’t expect any young player to play 40-50 games but a general introduction to top flight should ensure a seemless step for all concerned.

    We clearly CAN improve on many aspects of the current season, too many domestic blips obviously. I’d utilise the development squad more especially in the league cup as we concentrate major efforts on more important matters.

    Celtic should be pushing more publicity onto the young sides, especially those in the Nextgen soon to be another UEFA tourney with games at Celtic Park. A win win for all as the players will respond to a bigger crowd, playing at home etc & a wee bonus for Season book holders..provided we qualify for CL proper.

  • yogI
    3 years ago

    To everyone at Celtic Park I say Thank You and God Bless You All,and those of you who are going to leave I wish you nothing but Goodwill.We have nothing to fear in what the future holds,in fact quite the opposite ,The future is indeed Green and Bright.I dont believe we would miss Foster a great deal as in my opinion he is not the answer to our goalkeeper problem.He has enjoyed a four or five month purple patch as all players do ,but sorry I dont rate him,too many things wrong with him.The others will be replaced although in the case of big stroller wanyama this will take some time.I would like to tip my hat once again to our supporters in turin who not only enhanced our name,but added to it in the way they behaved and endeared themselves to the Italian people.Thanks Guys.

  • Kendo88
    3 years ago

    An amazing CL campaign! The players have excelled with some memorable games in paradise with the Barca game the pinnacle. Let’s not forget our ever away win in group stages backed undoubtedly by the greatest supporters on the planet! Unequalled. Our club/ culture really is admired and celebrated like no other. Thank you all who have contributed, HH


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