ANGE POSTECOGLOU believes the Bernabeu is the ideal stage for Celtic to make their fans proud.

The Hoops boss is preparing his players for the curtain coming down on their European adventure for this season with an intriguing encounter against reigning kings Real Madrid in the Spanish capital tonight.

Two points from a possible 15 has seen the club head for a premature exit, but Postecoglou insists this is where a club of Celtic’s stature and history deserve to be performing on a regular basis.

The Greek-Australian gaffer, 57, views this occasion against Carlo Ancelotti’s All Stars as being the opportunity for a memorable send-off.

Preparing for the Bernabeu clash, the manager said: “It’s one of the iconic stadiums in the world and, hopefully, we give our fans something to be proud of.

“The fans have been outstanding this whole campaign and they have supported us home and away.

“Everyone talks about the home nights at Celtic Park on European nights, but our away support is something we’re really proud of.

“For everyone at this club, they’ve really been looking forward to this game.

“There’s history between these clubs with Alfredo di Stefano’s testimonial, but to be here again at the Bernabeu, hopefully it’s a game that’s memorable for everyone including our supporters.”

It’s been a painful lesson for the champions in Europe’s elite competition with losses to the Spaniards (0-3) and RB Leipzig (1-3 and 0-2) and stalemates with Shakhtar Donetsk, both 1-1 in Warsaw and Glasgow.

But Postecoglou, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “I think this club deserves to be at this level and what this does is give me the appetite to ensure we’re here every year and make an impact.

“We get 60,000 every week and have an unbelievable stadium which creates a unique atmosphere and a club like ours deserves to be playing at this level.

“It’s not just about the outcomes, it’s about knowing if we want to make an impact, where do we need to chip away at and in every game we’ve really measured ourselves against the best by playing our football and sticking to who we are as a club.

“The first part of it is to make sure we’re here next year. What we can’t do for a club our size is qualify every three or four years because you can’t make any progress with that absence.

Images courtesy Celtic TV.

“I don’t think it’s a linear thing, but you have to be there knocking on the door and eventually you get the response you want.”

Postecoglou added: “I think the whole Champions League campaign for us has been a great process in us understanding what we can bring to these games and the areas we need to keep improving.

“In every game, we’ve had our moments and we haven’t taken them.

“But that’s come from playing our football and we know when the opposition have their moments they punish you.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Real Madrid v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.

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