CELTIC were handed a dream draw when they landed European kingpins Real Madrid in tonight’s Champions League ballot.
Ange Postecoglou’s men will face the Spanish giants, who beat Liverpool 1-0 in June to conquer Europe for the 14th time, in Group F after the draw in Istanbul.
The Hoops have also been paired with Germany’s RB Leipzig and Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk, two old foes from the past.
PARADISE…George McCluskey races away in joy after netting against Real Madrid at Parkhead in March 1980 with Murdo MacLeod and Bobby Lennox equally delighted.
Goals from George McCluskey and Johnny Doyle gave Billy McNeill’s men a 2-0 triumph over Real Madrid in the European Cup quarter-final at Parkhead on March 5 1980, but the Spaniards came back to win 3-0 at the Bernabeu Stadium in the return leg.
Celtic have played the Ukrainians four times in the past with both clubs winning their home ties. The Hoops met them first in 2004/05 and won 1-0 in Glasgow and lost 3-0 away.
They clashed again in 2007/08 with Celtic clinching it 2-1 at Parkhead, but losing 2-0 in the return.
Shakhtar will play their home ties in Poland at Legia Warsaw’s stadium where Postecoglou’s side performed last month in the 2-2 draw in Artur Boruc’s Testimonial Match. It is also a ground well known to right-back Josip Juranovic who played for the club before his £2.5million switch to the champions a year ago.
Brendan Rodgers was in charge when his side beat RB Leipzig 2-1 in Glasgow 2018/19 and lost 2-0 away.
Celtic fans will have to wait until tomorrow until the dates and venues are agreed.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: FULL DRAW
Group A: Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers
Group B: Porto, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Brugge
Group C: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Plzen
Group D: Eintracht Frankfurt, Spurs, Sporting Lisbon, Marseille
Group E: AC Milan, Chelsea, Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb
Group F: Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk, CELTIC
Group G: Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, Copenhagen
Group H: Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa
Matchday 1: September 6/7
Matchday 2: September 13/14
Matchday 3: October 4/5
Matchday 4: October 11/12
Matchday 5: October 25/26
Matchday 6: November 1/2