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‘BRENDAN CAN LEAD CELTIC TO EUROPEAN FINAL,’ INSISTS ROBBEN

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ARJEN ROBBEN believes Brendan Rodgers can lead Celtic all the way to the Europa League Final.

The Dutch winger skippered Bayern Munich to a 2-1 victory at Parkhead on Tuesday that ended the Hoops’ interest in the Champions League with the Bundesliga giants and Paris Saint-Germain qualifying with two games still to play.

However, Rodgers’ men are expected to take third place in Group B to eliminate rock-bottom Anderlecht and clinch European football after Christmas.

Martin O’Neill guided the Parkhead outfit to the UEFA Cup Final in Seville in 2003 and Robben reckons reaching the showpiece in Lyon on May 16 is a realistic target.

He insisted: “Celtic have a great chance to progress in the Europa League, especially at Parkhead with that kind of crowd.

“If it’s 14 years since they reached a European Final, then I wish them all the best and I hope they can be successful and maybe get there again.

“I really enjoyed the atmosphere. The fans are something special. That is something that can be very helpful – it’s one of the best I’ve seen in Europe.

“They gave me a great reception when I came off and that was very respectful.

“I’m very thankful for that because it’s not usual.”

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Robben moved to Chelsea in 2004 in a £12million deal from PSV Eindhoven and Rodgers arrived at Stamford Bridge at the same time when he became Academy coach.

The Bayern ace star admitted he knew the Irishman was destined to reach the top in management.

The 33-year-old attacker admitted the Hoops were a completely different force from the side that lost 3-0 in the Allianz Arena the previous fortnight.

He said: “I see a more European than British style in the way Celtic play. That’s why you have to give a big compliment to Brendan Rodgers.

“You can see his print on the team, the way they want to play. They want to play football, build up from the back and they did very well.

“I know Brendan from Chelsea. He was working with the Academy, the second team, and I trained with him a few times and played one or two friendly matches when I was coming back from injury.

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“I really liked his philosophy and the way he thinks about football, trying to play attacking football. He’s also a very good man.

“You could see he would progress and he’s already done well in his managerial career and it’s great for Celtic to get him – it was good to meet him again.”

The Hoops head to the Parc des Princes on November 22 for their next fixture against Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern can do them a favour by beating Anderlecht in Brussels on the same night.

Celtic bring down the Champions League curtain with a game against the Belgians in Glasgow on December 5.

There was a decent article over on Scotzine.com yesterday about Celtic aiming for the Europa League Final in Lyon on 16 May 2018. You can read it HERE

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