ANGE POSTECOGLOU is prepared for some special Champions League occasions after the group stages ballot last night.
Celtic have been paired with European masters Real Madrid, Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig and Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk.
Now Postecoglou is looking to make an impact outside the domestic scene and said: “You want our football club to be amongst the big ones in Europe, so there was a real sense of anticipation around the draw.
“After it, irrespective of the teams you get, you’ve got a challenge before you and from our perspective we’re really excited for what’s ahead.
THE THINKER…Ange Postecoglou has much to ponder in the weeks and months ahead.
“The Real Madrid fixture in itself is a pretty special one and it’s a club we haven’t played for a very long time.
“For our supporters and everyone involved in the football club it’s an exciting opportunity to test ourselves against the reigning champions and a club that’s steeped in the strongest of traditions in this competition.
“I’m not one to say I’ve done this or that, it’s more important we go there to Madrid and have a positive experience and that’s by playing good football against the best.
“What you want to make sure is that when you have these opportunities it’s better to swap shirts with players you admire after you’ve knocked them off, rather than just grabbing one for your collection.”
TWO FOR THE ROAD…Greg Taylor and full-back partner Josip Juranovic prepare for training.
Postecoglou was managed by Real legend Ferenc Puskas during his playing career in Australia. The Hungarian, known as ‘The Galloping Major’, was a pivotal figure in the team that dominated the European Cup in its early years, winning the glittering silverware trophy in five successive years.
The Hoops gaffer admitted it would be great to have his old boss around to witness the event when Celtic lock horns home and away with the Spanish giants who won the trophy for the 14th time when they beat Liverpool 1-0 in Paris in June.
Postecoglou, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “I think anyone involved in that game, to compete against the best and in this case one of the most famous clubs in the world and current European champions, anyone involved would say it’s significant.
“I was fortunate and blessed to have Ferenc Puskas as a manager for three years and I would ask him as many questions as I could about his Real Madrid experience because that was such a fantastic team.
“It’s a shame he’s not around to see it because I’m sure he would have taken great pride in seeing somebody he had a big influence over leading a side out against them.
“We want to be in the Champions League to test ourselves against the best and that’s what we’ll be doing.
“We will just address that as we go along and once the fixtures are confirmed we will focus on the first game.
“We’ve got three games between now and the first one and it’s really important we go into that game in good form and feel good about ourselves.”
Postecoglou’s immediate thoughts, however, are on the champions’ visit to Tannadice for their fifth Premiership game of the season against Dundee United on Sunday with a midday kick-off.
The Hoops are two points ahead at the moment with a 100 per record after consecutive victories over Aberdeen (2-0), Ross County (3-1), Kilmarnock (5-0) and Hearts (2-0).