CHRISTOPHER JULLIEN admits he has been amazed at the way the Celtic fans have rallied around the team as Neil Lennon’s men prepare to gatecrash the history books yet again.
The Hoops have sold 50,000 season tickets, despite the fact they will be playing to empty stadiums at the start of the season due to Scottish Government guidelines during lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The champions, bidding for a record-breaking 10 successive crowns, will kick off in a ghost ground on Flag Day on Sunday, August 2 when Hamilton Accies are the visitors to Parkhead for the opening fixture.
Jullien, who arrived at Scotland’s title kings in a £7million switch from Toulouse last summer, has been blown away with the remarkable support from the Hoops faithful.
The towering central defender, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “When I saw the sales of the season-tickets, I thought this is crazy. This is huge. And we are going to give everything to pay them back.
“Playing without fans is going to take concentration, but the team has shown me we are going to have the strength to do that.
MATCHWINNER…Christopher Jullien sidefoots in the Betfred League Cup clincher at Hampden in December.
NATIONAL HERO…Jullien races away with Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer in pursuit after his glory goal.
“We are all focused on the field and concentrate on our jobs and I know the situation because I have already faced it in France one time.
“I was playing a two-legged game at Toulouse. We played the first game behind closed doors at a different stadium and the motivation in the first five or 10 minutes was the most difficult part, but when you get that everything is normal.
“When you are focused, you play your game and it is going to be good. We are going to get through and just wait for the days until we get the supporters back.
“I can’t wait for the first game to kick off and try to make a new achievement.”
Jullien also reckons facing superstars such as £2million man Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Moussa Dembele is the perfect way to get back into harness for the new campaign.
Neil Lennon and his squad will head for France next week for a trio of top-quality friendlies against Ligue 1 opposition.
They will meet Lyon and Nice before moving onto the French capital for a match against old European foes Paris Saint-Germain.
Jullien added: “It’s perfect to face such good players in the beginning. You play football to face these teams and challenges.
“When I was in France, I played against those sides, although I had different team-mates and I’m now with a team who can win these games.
“It’s good to be playing in France and against such tough opponents to see the levels we can match with them.
“The strikers we’ll be facing are top-class. You want to come against this and having battles against those guys is just perfect.
“I will be ready for it and can’t wait for the challenge. Whatever happens, I will be better for it afterwards.”