BRENDAN RODGERS always believes Celtic are in with a shout when they take on Europe’s best on a Champions League evening at Parkhead.
The Hoops boss admitted he isn’t one bit surprised players such Lionel Messi sing the praises of the special atmosphere of these encounters under the floodlights in the east end of Glasgow.
Rodgers is preparing for the arrival of Bayern Munich for tomorrow night’s Group B meeting and he said: “Celtic Park is unbelievable.
“I have been lucky in my managerial career to have worked in the Champions League for Liverpool which also has a great stadium with a great atmosphere.
“I’ve been to places like the Allianz Arena and the Nou Camp and they are fantastic, but NOTHING can compare with the noise of Celtic Park on a Champions League night.
“There is a rawness. The English guys when they came up have asked me: ‘Who has rolled in the hyenas?’ It is the noise of the Celtic supporters. That is just sheer passion and will for the team.
“The history of the players who have spoken about the atmosphere of playing at Celtic Park is not a myth.
“Guys such as Paolo Maldini have spoken about this and said you have to at least play at Celtic Park once in your life. The Messis and Iniestas of this world have said the same.
“You look at the Champions League match against Manchester City.
“That was just a phenomenal atmosphere and it can move a player and unsettle a player.
“The crowd really are the 12th man. You talk about using the supporters and for us it’s a huge weapon whatever the game.
“In particular those European games under the lights when they know we are the underdog and they’re really trying to encourage you and push you over the line.”
Rodgers added: “Our path is getting harder each year, but we have to find a way to get through to keep pushing Celtic in European football.
“We feel honoured by the FIFA fans award and it is not a surprise when you know what the supporters do.
“This is a club that is supported all over the world.”
BRENDAN RODGERS – THE ROAD TO PARADISE is now available from CQNBookstore.com – the first 100 orders will receive a special free gift with there copy of Brendan’s biography, which was written by Celtic View editor Paul Cuddihy. Paul, who as usual has done an outstanding job on The Road to Paradise, will tell you that he was delighted at the amount of time and commitment Brendan put into the preparation of the book.