Lazio were Celtic’s first Italian opponents when the clubs drew 0-0 in Rome in 1950 before a Celtic Park rematch a few months later when Celtic won 4-0. The next four occasions Celtic met Italian teams would all be played on neutral ground, starting with a draw against Bologna on a 1966 preseason tour of the United States, before a notable win against Inter in Lisbon at the end of that season.
Celtic then met Milan four times in 10 months starting in May 1968. It was back to the US for a 1-1 draw, before a rematch a month later in Toronto when goals from Bobby Lennox and Charlie Gallacher won the game. The teams then drew 0-0 in the San Siro before Milan won the return 0-1 at Celtic Park, the first time in eight games against Italian opposition Celtic emerged with a defeat.
Italian champions Fiorentina lost at Celtic Park in 1969 before winning the return game while a year later Celtic drew twice against Bari on a North American tour. Inter and Celtic then met in the 1972 European Cup semi-final, both games finishing goalless, before a nine year wait until the next game against Italian opponents and the first against Juventus. Celtic won at home and lost in Turin.
Three games in four days in July 1993 saw a win over US Carisolo and defeats against Atalanta and Napoli. Four years later Parma and Roma visited Celtic Park, with the home team achieving a draw and win. 2001 saw Celtic’s first Champions League group games and two memorable games against Juventus, losing controversially in Turin before recording a 4-3 win in Glasgow.
Parma lost at Celtic Park in 2002 with Roma beating Celtic in Toronto in 2004. Celtic then embarked on a familiarity drive with Milan, drawing twice at home and losing the corresponding away fixtures in 2004 and 2007. A home win over Parma in summer 2007 briefly interrupted Celtic’s run of Italian fixtures against Milan but the teams met another twice in 2007, Celtic winning at home and losing away.
Celtic lost to Inter in Dublin in 2011 before drawing home and away to Udinese in the same year. Kris Commons scored Celtic’s goal in their most recent match against Italian opponents in a Celtic Park draw last July.
36 games in 63 years, 11 wins, 11 defeats and 14 draws. The team in green and white won the most important one!
Early notice, the CQN Charity Golf Day will take place on Friday, 14 June. More details to follow.
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