Charlie Mulgrew kicked the dream off with the winning goal against HJK Helsinki in July but trooped off the park in Turin hurting from a 5-0 aggregate defeat from Juventus.
Three seasons after rejecting Sheffield United to return to Celtic the Kirkintilloch bhoy had lots to reflect on after an epic Champions League campaign stretching over 12 matches.
Mulgrew’s delivery from set-pieces has been brought to the attention of a huge audience but after the qualifying and group stage success the story came to a shuddering halt against the clinical Italians in Turin.
“People could look at the scoreline and make judgements about the gap between the sides, but it wasn’t how it seemed,” Mulgrew stated. “It was a lot closer than five. We had a lot of the ball over the two games and it just shows you that’s not always what matters most.
“There have been matches this season, like against Barcelona at home, when we hardly saw the ball, but we got the result.
“I suppose that’s football. Juventus won fair and square, but we’re disappointed at the final outcome.
“They punished our mistakes and that shows the quality they have up top. It felt like they took every one of their chances over the two legs. That’s a credit to them, but we’re very disappointed.The sore bit is that we came here to compete but it wasn’t to be in the end.
Mulgrew added: “There was a lot of disappointment in our changing room at time up. A lot of people will be saying we were unlucky and all the rest, but we still feel it. The manager came in and said we’d done well, but he was as down as the rest of us.
“You’re sitting there thinking it’s been a good campaign — and it has — but after getting this far we wanted to get that little bit further.
“You’re down when that doesn’t happen, but we have to get over it quickly and get on with the rest of our season.”
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