It’s started. The Catalan media are already ramping up their coverage ahead of Barcelona travelling to Celtic Park this week in the Champions League.
After Barcelona beat Celtic 7-0 in Spain, Mundo Deportivo rated Brendan Rodgers’ men, and it wasn’t exactly a kind review.
We covered it at the time: ‘‘Dirty’ midfielder Scott Brown is said to not understand football, and to have ‘wanted a pub fight’ instead, which Ivan Rakitic politely declined.
Stuart Armstrong is labelled ‘Lunático’ and it’s claimed that when he was on the pitch there was a sense of ‘What am I doing here?’.
For Kolo Toure, Mundo Deportivo say it’s never too late for a new experience and ‘At 35 he suffered probably the toughest match of his life.’’
It’s fair to say the Barcelona media aren’t expecting much in the return leg. Sport cover Rodgers comments over the weekend, which explained Celtic would be helped against Barcelona by the atmosphere in Celtic Park, and say: ‘the fact is that the high ‘temperature’ of Celtic Park will be one of the few weapons that Rodgers has to intimidate Barca.’
Sport believe that the current incarnation of Celtic is simply not as intimidating as previous ones, and the better style of football under Rodgers actually hinders the club in these type of matches.
The more attacking Rodgers football at Celtic is obviously impressive at times, but Sport believe it means they’re not as good as they once were defensively. Celtic will take confidence from drawing 3-3 against Manchester City, and then later seeing that side brush Barcelona aside.