FORMER Celtic defender Mark Wilson played in the 3-2 home defeat against Barcelona in 2008 – and claimed it was an education facing the Spanish giants.
Gordon Strachan’s team twice led before going down and they followed that up with a 1-0 loss in the Nou Camp to topple out of Europe.
As Brendan Rodgers prepares his team for tomorrow night’s Champions League game against the Spanish superstars, Wilson recalled: “You score two goals against Barcelona and you think you are doing alright.
“But against a team like that, you always know that they have the manpower up front to make you pay.maxresdefault
“We were in front twice in that game – big Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink scored to give us the lead and then Barry Robson scored with a header to put is 2-1 up before the break.

“Lionel Messi had scored in the first-half and then Thierry Henry levelled it for them in the second half before Messi scored his second and their third.

“We felt a bit hard done by because we put so much into the game, but it is one of those things that it is a really difficult ask taking anything from a team who have been regarded as the best in the game for the best part of a decade now.

“Messi wasn’t even at his peak yet – but he was immense that night. Quite unplayable at times, so I know how tough it will be for the Celtic guys tomorrow night to keep a handle on him.

“I was up against Henry and Ronaldhino after coming on for the last half-hour and it was an education.”

Wilson, now boss at Airdrie, added: “It is a tough competition. You are going from dominating domestic games to going into an environment where you are playing against the best players in the world.

“It takes only one mistake and you can find yourself out of the game. These teams are ruthless and, although Celtic lost heavily over there, I honestly don’t think it will feature too heavily in their minds going into tomorrow’s game.

“We have seen it time and time again, but Celtic at Celtic Park are a different team entirely. Barcelona will hammer more than Celtic in the Nou Camp. I know a lot of people have said that, but it is the truth.

“Brendan Rodgers has already shown that he is a top manager simply by getting Celtic into the group stages in the first place.

“It is a big ask for any team to do a number on Barcelona – a Barcelona team that many will fancy to go on and win the competition.

“But they said that in 2012 and look what happened. The odds are massively against them tomorrow, but there isn’t one player in that Celtic team who will go out with that thought in their mind.

“They have a good manager, they’ll be organised, they’ll all know what their jobs are. They all play a blinder and one or two of the Barca guys are below par and you just never know.

“That’s the beauty of football.”
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