SIR Rod Stewart was singing the praises of the Celtic fans as he mingled with the followers in Rome ahead of tonight’s Europa League Group E game against Lazio.

The 74-year-old rocker arrived in the Italian capital on Monday as he prepared to back the team in the crucial encounter against the Serie A cracks.

The legendary Hoops supporter, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “It has been a complete delight to be in Rome with all these dedicated Celtic fans.

“I identify with the club and its fans so strongly and I’ve spent a lot of time chatting to people and getting photos taken and just enjoying the good vibe. Trips like this are what it’s all about for the fans and I love it as much as they do.

“The supporters are doing Celtic proud by coming over here in such great numbers. They are a great bunch and they are so often the 12th man for the team when it comes down to it.

“I read that there might be more Celtic fans than Lazio fans in the stadium and that made me feel really proud.”

Around 9,000 travelling supporters are expected to get behind the side who beat the Italians 2-1 at Parkhead last month after coming back from a goal down. Ryan Christie levelled before Christopher Jullien claimed a dramatic last-gasp winner.

Lennon’s men know a win will make it virtually certain of a place in the knock-out stages of the competition next year.

They are currently top of the section with seven points after their wins over the Italians and the Romanians of Cluj and a 1-1 draw with Rennes in France.

Sir Rod’s latest tour, kicking off this month, includes three Scottish dates at the SSE Hydro.

He added: “Scottish gigs are always so special to me and I mean that sincerely. I’m looking forward to getting to Glasgow again.”

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


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