I cannot tell you the exhilaration when our Champions League endeavours all started under Martin O’Neill. Beating Ajax in Amsterdam in the play-off round, with their useful looking young striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, was a transformational result in our history.
The group stage was due to start at home to Rosenborg, who back then were a Champions League regular and not just an also ran, but the September 11 attacks a day earlier meant we had to wait until facing Juventus in Turin. There was a time during that game, when we came back from 2-0 to equalise, that anything seemed possible.
The campaign ended with three home wins and three away defeats, the latter became a regular feature in our early seasons in the competition. Nine points would have been enough in most groups, in most years, but we were edged out by Porto, who took 6 points from Rosenborg.
Two years later, brought thrilling home wins against Anderlecht and Lyon, before Bayern Munich became the first visiting team to leave Celtic Park on Champions League duty with a point. Oh, how they celebrated.
Form has changed since. Picking up points on the road, which once seemed beyond us, is achieved regularly, home wins are less assured, but there is still a clear difference in how potent Celtic are at home, compared to how we are on our travels. Celtic Park remains a force to be reckoned with.
Leipzig have a squad full of talented players. They will have period of possession tonight and will stretch Celtic in every department. But still, they are a long way from Saxony and face a Celtic team brimming with nuggets of talent.
We know the support tonight will be exceptional. We know how Celtic will play. We know we have the talent to hurt the very best in Europe. We know that Leipzig are vulnerable. Let’s make it happen this time.