Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic playing European football on Tuesday can only mean one thing, and that is the opposing team’s local media having a lot of praise for the Scottish club’s fans.
Tuesday morning sees Marca get in the spirit of things as Barcelona prepare their trip to Celtic Park with an interview of Javier Sanchez Broto, who played for the Bhoys in 2003, making eight appearances.
Now retired and a successful businessman, the 45-year-old former goalkeeper was asked by the Spanish newspaper what he remembered from his time in Scotland, and more specifically Celtic.
He said: “Celtic is a spectacular club. In Spain, they don’t even know half of how football is experienced there. Until I got there, I’d never been to such a big club. It’s something incredible. I remember a game years ago against Celta Vigo in the Champions League.
“I saw an ex-teammate of mine, Caceres, and before the game, I assured him he would never experience an atmosphere like this in his life again. He looked at me and didn’t believe me. He was astonished. 60,000 guys who go to the game to live, sing and create a spectacular atmosphere.”
Broto continued, saying few stadiums and sets of fans in the world come close to recreating the noise experienced at Celtic Park.
Even if he only played there for a season, the former goalkeeper did also admit the level of Scottish football has gone downhill since his time at the club, calling the Scottish Premiership a ‘minor league’ and lamenting the days when Celtic would reach the finals of European tournaments.
Describing the Celtic’s style of play as ‘very, very vertical’, Broto explained it would be very difficult for Brendan Rodgers to get anything from the game on Tuesday night, regardless of whether they were playing at Celtic Park or not.
Up to them to prove him wrong, then.